Skip to main content

Full text of "Social Dynamite: The Wickedness of Modern Society from the Discources of T. De Witt Talmage"

See other formats


ffysiotic<xt (Ecmmtesion 


Social Dynamite; 


Wickedness of Modern Society 


T. DEWITT talmage, d. d. 

Author of " Masque Torn Off;" "Live Coals;''' "Foes of Society;'" 

"Traps for Men;" "Night Sides of City Life;" "Sports 

that Kill;" "Crumbs Szvept Up,"" Etc. 



Autlior "Life's Ideal;" "■Sunshine," Etc 


H. E. GROSH & CO., Publishers. 










Dr. Talmage, in many respects, stands at the bead 
of American pulpit orators, and none excel him in dra- 
matic force. He is one of the few who dares lift his 
voice against the wickedness of modern society wher- 
ever found, sparing neither friend nor foe, rich nor poor. 
In a clarion voice he sounds a note of warning, and 
designates the only way to escape the pits of darkness 
and social and moral ruin. 

A fearless antagonist to all forms of sin ; he cares 
more for cleaving a helmet than for showing the jewels 
on the handle of his weapon. Blows are what he gives. 
He does not know how to soften a denunciation or kid- 
glove a lie, cheat or sham. Strong in imagination, 
happy in word-painting, he arrays the most common 
truths in all the freshness of new discoveries, and all 
the glow of living reality. To this is added a quick in- 
sight into human nature, and the foibles, vices and 
iniquities of the present day. The Gospel is presented 
by him as the only remedy for human corruption. In 
all he says and does he is swayed by an over-mastering 
Christian earnestness. 

America is given a proud place among the nations 
of the earth ; at the same time things are pointed outar 
which, if they are not suppressed, will bring disaster, 
upon the country. Municipal law, it is shown, will 



be a dead letter, and political reform impossible, so 
long as Christains are apathetic and politically negli- 
gent, and fail to aid those in authority by personally 
urging reform and standing by it in the name of Christ. 
This work contains nearly fifty chapters, on as many 
different subjects ; they are, from beginning to end, of 
peculiar interest to every American, and stamped with 
the extraordinary individuality of this remarkable man. 
Every page burns with an eloquent entreaty for a better 
and purer life, and possesses an intense, soul-absorbing 
interest to all who desire the advancement and higher 
development of the human race. 




Dr. Talmage's Birthplace — His Parents — Traits of Each— The 
Weekly Prayer-Meeting — De Witt's Boyhood — A Professional Ca- 
reer Desired — Preparation for College — His Alma Mater — Meri- 
torious Graduation — A Christian at Twenty— Enters a Theological 
Seminary— His Early Pastoral Life — At Belleville, N. J.— At Syra- 
cuse, N. Y. — At Philadelphia — Moves to Brooklyn — Church Arch- 
itecture Revolutionized — The New Structure- As a Lecturer — His 
Qualities — A Visit to England — Immense Enthusiasm — The 
World's Criticism — How Ministers Are Lied About — A Descrip- 
tion of Dr. Talmage as an Orator — His Voice — His Power — Judg- 
ment of His Generation — The Penalty of Being a Leader 25 


Edward and Nicholas Leaving Home— Journey to Depot— The 
Good-Bye — Arrival in the Great City— Edward Enters Business 
Life — The Country Greenhorn — Making Acquaintances — Home- 
sickness — The First Temptation — At the Theater — Finances Ex- 
hausted — The Gaming Table — Drinking— Loss of Position — 
From Bad to Worse — Five Years Later — No Letters at Home — 
The Father Visits the City — Edward Wounded and a Physical 
Wreck — Nicholas Too Enters Business — Industrious— Prosperous 
and Honored — Happily Married — A Beautiful Home — The Temp- 
ter Baffled— The Forks of the Road— The Two Highways— Which 

Will You Take? 37 





No One Goes to Ruin Alone — A Convicted Criminal's Words- 
Bad Company — Olden Times— Places of Business — A Challenge — 
A Reward Offered — New Clerk — Show Him the City — Forgotten 
his Pocket-Book — Familiarity — Broken In — Beware — Glance of 
Purity— Shun the Skeptic— "Explain That"— Take them All— He 
has Gone! — Shun Idlers — His Touch is Death — "I Want You, 
Sir" — Self-Improvements — The Harvest Gathered in Old Age — 
Avoid Perpetual Pleasure- Seekers — Life Occupation to Sport — 
A Beauty in Sports — Declaration of Brummel— Review — Always 
be Polite — A Beautiful Daughter 50 



Night-Watchman — The Ancients' Division of the Night — The 
First Watch — Closing the Stores — Evening Repasts — The Second 
Watch — Places of Amusement — The Third Watch Begins — The 
City Sleeps— City Missionaries — Physician in Haste — The Vicious 
Poor — The Christian Poor — Beastliness and Rags — The Criminal's 
Watch — Born Thieves — The Neglected — Gambling and Gam- 
blers — Seeing the City — High Circles of Society — Common Sense 
in Christian Work- The Gambler's Burial — A Destroyed Soul's 
Eternity 61 



Feasting — Entertaining Queen Elizabeth — Cardinal Wolsey's 
Banquet — Night at Babylon — Amusements of the City — Royal 
Feast — From all the Earth — More Wine — Wilder Music — Princes 
Reeling— Writing on the Wall — Daniel Reads — Assyrians take 
Advantage of the Carousal— Massacre Rushes In — The Dead 
King — Read as Written — Hugh Latimer — Banquet of Sin — The 
Cup is Full of Poison 77 



High License the Monopoly of Abomination — A Point in Re- 
formatory Movements Reached — Income for High License — A 


Complete Surrender to the Rum Traffic— Making Rumselling Re- 
spectable — Closing the Small Establishments — Striking at the 
Hearts of the Best Homes — It is Anti-American — Eights Invaded 
— Why Not Stop other Small Dealers ? — Other Laws that are a 
Dead Letter— Court Scene — An ti- Common Sense — The Working 
People — Prohibition Laws — An Old Carcass — What a Cheat — No 
Truce — The Sides Arrayed Against Each Other — Fight the Battle 
Out — The Balance of Power— Its Overthrow Certain 91 



Noah Introduced the Deluge of Drunkenness — Unhealthful 
Stimulants — The Arch-Fiend's Cauldron of Temptation — Great- 
est Evil of this Nation - Statistics — Born with a Thirst for Strong 
Drink — The Last Will of the Drunkard— Bitters— Circulars of a 
Brewers' Association — A National Evil — Suffering Mothers and 
Children — Death's Hand — The Drunkard's Home — The Boast of 
Protagoras — Political Parties Afraid— The Church— Teetolism. 101 



Political Parties — Mormonism — A Great Evil — Necessity of Im- 
mediate Settlement of the Question — Bigamy Punished — Polyg- 
amy Unpunished — A Plank Anti-Mormonistic Wanted — Immi- 
gration of Mormons — Intermarriage of Nationalites— What Are 
We Doing — What Is Demanded — The Platforms of Political 
Parties — God's Country — Prayer Answered— Four Doxologies.,113 


Infelicitous Homes — Divorce — Free Love Advocates — Mormon- 
ism — A Positive Law now on the Statute Books--A Pustulous Lit- 
erature — The Laws of the States — The Record by States — Easy 
Divorce and Dissoluteness Twin Brothers — What we Want— Dis- 
satisfaction no Cause for Divorce — Constitutional Amendment— 


Make Divorce Difficult — Rigorous Laws — A Divine Rage Against 
all Enemies of the Marriage State — Paradise Regained 123 



Procession to Carry the Ark — Battle Cry — Oliver Cromwell — 
The Name of a Christian Reformer — God First — Abominations 
Gone Far Enough — Pre-eminent for Blasphemy — Boy Struck 
Dead — Death of Blasphemers — One of the Gigantic Crimes — 
Drunkenness — Increase of Saloons — Bitters — Treating Customers 
— Explosions of Social Life — Impure Life — Watering Places — 
" White Cross" Movement — Miss Francis E, Willard — Every Two 
Thousand Years—" Let God Arise." 132 



"The Field of Blood "—Gambling Spirit— Pertinent to All- 
Instruments Differ — London Business Life — No New-Born Sprite 
— St. Paul's Cathedral — Laws Denounce the System — Derby Day — 
A Traveler Through the West — Games in Themselves Without 
Harm — Unhealthful Stimulants — A Young Man Kicked Out — 
Kills Industry — John Borack — Paris Gaming Houses — World is 
Robbed — Source of Dishonesty — No Chance — It Peoples Prisons 
and Lunatic Asylums — Home Loses All Charms— Stakes His 
Crown of Heaven — An Only Son at New Orleans — His Last Letter 
— " Foul ! Foul !" — Church Fairs — Betting — Bad Company — Game 
of Cards— The Gambler's Death Bed 144 


Honorable in Olden Time — Demonsthenes and Others — Ameri- 
can Conscience Needs Toning Up— Defaulters —Apologetic for 
the Crime — Christians who Commit Self-Destruction — Hugh 
Miller — Dr. Chalmers- Straight into Perdition — Custodian of 
Your Life— Suicide on the Increase — Infidelity and Agnosticism 
the Cause— Teachings of Infidelity— Lecture on Socialism- 
David Hume— Rivers Full of Corpses— Shakespeare's Appreciation 


of the Future Existence — Coroner's Verdict — Tempted to Quit — 
God Keeps the Chronology — Israelites Free — Time Up — A Sor- 
rowless World 163 



Ephesus— Paul's Firebrands — Harmful Literature — A Big Bon- 
fire — Insufferable Trash — The Mighty Agency of the Press — New 
York Editors — Chief Means of the World's Bescue — The Victims 
of Unclean Literature — What Shall We Bead ? — Make an Intelli- 
gent Choice — Novel Beading — Popular Writers — Stand Aloof — 
False Pictures of Human Life— An Admixture of Good and Evil — 
An Incident — Corrupt Imaginations Inflame the Passions- 
Apologists of Crime — Making Impurity Decent — Crime Attrac- 
tive — Hypocrisy Noble — Publishers Who Publish — Picture of the 
Indiscriminate Novel Beader — Testimony of Sufferers — Lascivi- 
ous Pictorial Literature — Death Warrants of the Soul — Poison — 
Moral Strychnine — Cherish Good Books and Newspapers — Avoid 
Bad Ones 171 



Breaking in Upon God's Heritage — Uprooting and Devouring 
Classes of Society — Public Criminals — Their Immense Cost — 
Conflagration of Morals — " Stop Thief !" — Society has a Grudge 
Against Criminals — Punishment Hardens Them — More Potential 
Influences Needed — Raymond Street Jail — Black Hole of Cal- 
cutta — Old and Hardened Offenders — Young Men Who Have 
Committed their First Crime — Sir William Blackstone — Unworthy 
Officials — " Whisky Bing " — " Tammany Bing " — " Erie Bing " — 
Fences — Skinners — Confidence Men — The Idle Classes — Useless 
and Dangerous — Oppressed Poor — Army of Honest Poor — Chil- 
dren's Aid Society — Dorcas Society 182 



Progression of the World — Great Actors — Secular Newspa- 
per Criticism— Depraved Advertisements — Importation of Bad 


Morals — Degenerate Players — An Awful Decadence — East Lynne 
— No Moral Elevation in the Modern Play — The Drama — An 
Echo of the Human Soul — Advice to Young Men — Freshen up 
Your Work — Avoid Being Led into Sin 202 



The Line Drawn — Healthful Result— Baleful Eeaction — The 
People most Easily Tempted — Pernicious Amusements— Recrea- 
tion well Spent— Whooping and Bloated Sons — Crimes Commit- 
ted — Lawful Expenditures — Sinful Indulgences — Unrestrained 
Amusement — Who Cares? — Killed — Nothing to Do — Sports That 
are Helps— Bad Company — The Wayward Husband — The Prom- 
ise — Five Rules Given — Testimony of Dr. Hatfield — Ministers at 
the Theater— Choose This Day— 213 



Dancing — The Round Dance— Dancing Universal — Ancient 
Dancing— Present Custom — God Bless the Young — An Abettor 
of Pride — Physical Ruin — From Ball Room to Graveyard — Use- 
fulness Spoiled — A Belittling Process — An Incident — Earnest 
Work— A Vast Multitude Destroyed 224 



Solid Satisfaction — A.n Error Corrected — Albert Barnes — 
Plant one Grain of Corn — Mere Social Position — Do not Covet 
it — A Worldly Marriage— Mere Personal Attractions — Abigail- 
Make Yourself Attractive — Not Ashamed of Age — Culture Your 
Heart— At The Hospital— "Seven Days"— "Hold My Hand"— Flat- 
teries of Men — An Angel — Discipleship of Fashion — Fashion 
Plates— Biblical Fashion— Beautiful Attire— A Bright World.. 235 



First Wardrobe — The Prodigal — Goddess of Fashion — Men as 
Idolators — Tobacco — Animated Checkerboards — Benedict Ar- 


nold— Sells his Country to Clothe his Wife— Expensive Establish- 
ments the Business Man's Ruin — Extravagance of Clerks — Trag- 
edy of Human Clothes — Fashion the Foe of all Christian Alms- 
giving — Ninety Cents on the Dollar — Theft of Ten Per Cent. — 
"What a Love of a Bonnet!" — "What a Perfect Fright!" — Fashion 
Belittles the Intellect—French Roof on the "House of Many 
Mansions" — Countess of Huntington— Vashti ,249 



Voluptuousness of an Ancient City — Parlor Sentimentalities-- 
Haughty Daughters — AshesL Ashes! — God Defying Extravagance 
— Nature's Adornments — Lawful use of Adornments — Envy — Hon- 
est Debtors — Villainous Debtors — Pay as you go— Fictitious wants 
— Wholesale Extravagance — Cost of Luxuries — Crime Increased 
— A Great Swash — A Bride's Trousseau and Gifts — A Fictitious 
life — Poverty of Religious Institutions 260 


Men Gregarious — Herbs and Flowers— Secret Societies — Two 
Specimens of Clubs — Profitable or Baleful Influences — The 
Test — The Home — Moral Bigamy— Domestic Shipwrecks — The 
Clubs Substituted for the Home — Obituary Easily Written — 
Scions of Aristocracy — Influence on a Man's Commercial Credit — 
Its Influence on One's Sense of Moral and Spiritual Obbgation 
— Two Highways — Attacks the Best Men — The Large Admis- 
sion Fee — Influence of Fathers Upon Their Sons — Sacrifice Your 
Money Rather Than Your Soul 272 



An Ancient Watering Place— Tradition Concerning it— Mod- 
ern Watering Places — A Picture — The First Temptation — Sacred 
Parade — Crack Sermons — Quartet — Air Bewitched— Horse Rac- 
ing — Deceptive Titles — Saratoga — Bets Run High — Greenhorns 
Think all is Fair — Sacrifice of Physical Strength— Fashionable 
Idiots — "Do Thyself no Harm"— Hasty Alliances— Domestic In- 


felicities— Twenty Blanks to One Prize— Load of Life— The Fop 
— Baneful Literature — Its Popularity at Watering Places — The 
Intoxicating Beverage 283 



The World's Villainy— A Confidential Way — Whisperers are 
First- Class Liars Confined to Neither Sex — Where Heard — Paul 
A Sufferer — His opinion of Whisperers — Law of Libel — Where 
Found— Turned on a Spit — Three Witches of Macbeth — This 
Hellish Spirit — Destruction of A Man's Xame — A Suspicion Start- 
ed — Its Growth — The Results — Jubilee of Whisperers — A Listener 
Worse than a Whisperer— A Gutter Inspector — Speak Well of 
Others— Do Not Cackle— Nothing but Tongue— The Last Whis- 
per 296 


Various Ways of Lying — Acquired and Natural — The Tend- 
ency in Rural Districts — The Traducer — Plotting of Speculators 
— God Help the Merchants— Fortunes Made by Dishonesty — 
Large Fortunes Made Honestly — Dishonesties of Speech — The 
Merchants — Customers — Artisans — Insincerity of Society — False 
Statements of Denominations — Misrepresentations of Individual 
Churches— No Such Thing as a Small Sin 308 


A Battle Field — Stripping the Slain — Young Men from the 
Country— The Battle of Temptation— Down, Down!— The Philis- 
tines — Evil Habit — Crowded Out of Life — The Sin Convicted— Lift 
up all Such — Sin is Hardened and Merciless — Physical Courage 
Gone — Blackness of Darkness — Sin a Luxury Now, Later a Col- 
lision — At last, Defeat and Death— A Charnel House — A Gale from 
Heaven — Life; Immortal Life 315 




Solomon Recognizing Strangers—Great Immigration — Hotels 
of this Country — "I must join that Procession" — To the Academy 
—The Picture Gallery — The Young Men's Christian Association 
Rooms — Up Broadway — A Gettysburg— Underground Life — Coun- 
try Customer and City Merchant — "Drummers" — Mt. Washing- 
ton — Seven Apples — "Slicing off Pieces" — French Sabbaths — 
Only an Explorer — Sharp Business Man— Strangers Welcome — 
Edward Stanley 328 


gold! gold!! gold!!! 

A God of Some Kind — Aaron and the Golden Calf — Moses 
Return — When a Man gets Mad he is apt to Break all the Ten 
Commandments — Modern Idolatry — Wall Street — Bank of Eng- 
land — Michigan Wheat — Maryland Peaches — Immensity of its 
Temple — Every God its Temple and its Sacrifice — Its Victims — 
Solomon's Sacrifice— Clinking Gold and Silver — Destruction of th e 
Golden Calf Certain— The Golden Calf Made of Borrowed Gold 
—Borrowing, the Ruin of the American People — Nothing heav- 
ier than the Spirit — Crosses the Jordan — Pool! Fool! Fool! — 
Change your Temples 338 


A Fine Nature— A Good Home— Real Good Friends— Christ 
Maligned— The Moral Man— "One Thing Thou Lackest"— Ele- 
ment of Happiness— The Invalid— The Aged— The Element of 
Usefulness— Light Wanted— Element of Personal Safety— Where 
are the People?— Knocking to-night— God's Goodness— The 
Prosperous— The Poor— "Whither Bound"— With Priceless Treas- 
ures?— Do not Cheat Yourself 348 



David Playing the Fool— Pretends Insanity— Escapes— Maj - 
esty in King Lear's Madness— Alexander Cruden's Concordance 


of the Bible— Men Who take Their Case out of God's Hand- 
Help God Manage the Train — Victoria— Way the Evils are Set — 
Trust Your Pilot— Tufelicissimus— Technicalities of Eeligion — 
Try these Momentous Questions— A Man Quarreling About a Tick- 
et for Trans -Atlantic Voyage—Pay out Eternity for Time Com- 
forts of Surroundings Cannot Keep Back the Old Archer — Now 
is the Accepted Time— A Greeting— Death of One Unprepared- 
Awake from Your Folly 361 



Courage to Look Upon the Sins of Cities — Laughed for Six 
Weeks — American Clergy Covering the Sins Probed — A Good 
Stout Dose — No Apology or Closing up — Mission of the Clergy 
— As the Cities go, so Goes the Land — Every City a Mission— 
Every City has Certain Characteristics — Planting the Capital — 
You Have an Interest — City of Palaces — Old Masters — Go See 
the Work of New Masters— Westward, Ho! — Historical with Foot- 
steps — Its Morals — Men Better at Home— Henry Wilson — Clerks 
of Departments — Members of Congress — A Vast Improvement — 
Never a Higher Personal Morality — Man of Morals — A Law 
Breaker — Statute Laws — We Need no Beligious Test — Lookout 
Mountain — Besumption — Incense of Praise — Transitory and 
Unsatisfactory- -Call the Boll— Will Never Forgive — The Lost 
Chord 375 



Morals of a Nation Seldom Exceed Those of its Eulers— Our 
, Eulers Superior to Those of Other Nations— Public Wickedness 
—Unfitness for Office— Intemperance Defeats Legislation— De- 
feated our Armies— Bribery— Not Wholly American— Eascality 
Among Legislatures— Eevolution Ahead— Bonus— Stand Aloof— 
Faithfulness at the Ballot Box— Evangelize the People— Per- 
sonal Eesponsibility 388 



Intense Excitement— The Stranger's Eeception— A Wild 
Laugh— Temptations to Commercial Fraud— "This Eivalry is 


Awful"— Decide for Yourself— One with God is a Majority— Pol- 
itical Life — Allurements to an Impure Life — Cormorants of 
Darkness— Six Rainbows — A Thousand of Them— "Tick, Tick!" — 
An Enraptured Vision 399 



Blessings Better Than Deserts — Bloody Luxury of War — 
Three Prescriptions— Cheerful Conversation and Behavior— Out 
of Employment — Responsibility — A Severe Winter — Quit Growl- 
ing — A Proper Christian Investment — A Dishonest Servant — Ad- 
minister Liberally — A Turning Point — Secure the Secret — Strike 
a Balance — Bled to Death — Give — A Great Spiritual Awakening 
— An Everlasting Poorhouse— Shipwreck of the "Central Ameri- 
ca" — Shipwreck of the World 411 


Allegory — Metaphor— The Hunter's Return— The Fascinating 
Life of a Hunter— Hunting in England — India — Western Plains 
— Hunting the World — Edgar A. Poe — World's Plaudits — A 
Change — Financial Success — Dollar Hunt — Northern Pacific 
Bonds — Ralston— Higher Treasures — Heartfelt Satisfaction — 
Glorious Divisions of Spoils — Folly of Worldly Hunt — A Bare 
Hand — Census of Old People — No Division of Spoils — Death in 
the Chase — Sudden and Radical Change — Instantaneous — One 
Touch of Electricity— What is Religion? 424 



The Bible used as an Ornament — The Kohinoor among Dia- 
monds—A Seed Planted — The Public Schools — Crowding the 
Bible out— A War Begun — Demanding a Hearing — Calculating 
Success — Infernal Circles — A Means of Becoming Religious— A 
War upon the Consciences of Men — Differences in Consciences— 
The Bible Particularly Adapted to our School System — Its Dis- 
cipline — Biography — Its Sanctity— Text-books — Other Infamous 
Demands— An Implied Right— Suspicion cast upon it — Evidences 


of the Best Men — Christian Patriots- Our Schools the Child of 
Protestantism — A Bible-Reading and God-Fearing Nation — A 
Sworn and Uncompromising Friend 435 



Tenderness and Affection — The Beast's Care of its Young — 
What is to Become of the Child — Parental Inefficiency and Im- 
perfection — Our Imperfection — A Miserable Failure — Stuffed 
with Religion— Free and Easy Parents— Scolding and Fretful- 
ness— The Forgery— In Dissipating Circles — Erring on all Sides 
—Early Exhibition of Sinfulness— One's own Faults Copied — So 
many Temptations— The Mother's Apron Strings — Farewell to 
all Innocence — Traps set for our Youth — Elegant Bar-rooms— 
The Lowest Dives and Grogshops — The Serpent at the Hearth — 
The Wrong Beginning— The Division of an Apple — Whose hand 
was it? — The Value of an Example 450 


The most Beautiful Figure in Geometry — The Giant's Cause- 
way — The Universe— How to Build Churches — Imitating Noah's 
Ark — Pomology's Progress — The old Masters — God's Providence 
— Jezebel — An Awful Circuit — A Theocracy — The Rebound is 
Rapid — An Incident — Expenses for Burning Latimer — A Slander 
Uttered — Dishonor of Parents — The Good and Bad Come Back — 
God's Memory is Mighty— The Circle Completed — The Center of 
the Circle , . , 467 



Adverse Circumstances— An Unfortunate Name— Impose Not 
upon the Babe—Legislatures Invoked — A Change not Demeaning 
— Incomplete Physical Equipment — Scene in a Clinical Depart — 
ment— Crippling the Body — A Subtracted Physical Organiza- 
tion — Use Faculties Remaining — Turn away from Shadows — Lack 
of Early Education — An Effective Layman — A Longwinded pray- 
er Meeting Bore— The Miss mated Christian— A Withering Curse — 


Poverty— Early Mistakes — Personal Appearance Defective — 
Wrong Proclivities from the Start — A Tired World — The Pem- 
berton Mill — Take Courage — The Voices of Adversaries Covered 
with Confusion 477 



The Greatest Sermon Ever Preached — Eule for Measuring — 
Unfairness in Criticism an Hereditary Tendency — Princess Mary 
School — Children of Criminals — All People Born Equal — Differ- 
ences of Blood — Swimming Against the Current — Hereditary 
Evil— A Depraved Home— Suppose Your Lot had Been Different 
—Consider the Conjunction of Circumstances — Just as I Told 
You — Sorrow for the Innocent — You May be Tested — The Day 
of Excitement — An Ebullition of Temper — A Keen Nervous Or- 
ganization — Majority Want to be Good— Magnificent Generosity 
— Do Not be Hard — Have Mercy or Perish 489 



Mystery — Communications Between This and the Next 
World — Fingers of Superstition — Modern Spiritualism, an Old 
Doctrine — Necromancers of Old — God's Condemnation of Such — 
Undue Advantage Taken — Remarkable Scholarship of Spirits — 
An Affair of Darkness — Ruin Physical Health — A Marital and So- 
cial Curse — The World with Spiritualism at the Head — Produces 
Insanity — Falsehoods — Ruins Disciples and Mediums — Ruins the 
Soul 501 



A Great Feast — Guests sit down Amid Outbursts of Hilarity — 
Ashes— Testimony of those who have been Magnificently Suc- 
cessful — Testimony of Kings — Commercial Adepts — Come up, ye 
Millionaires — Sinful Pleasurists— A Troop of Infidels — Placid 
Skeptic — Lord Chesterfield — What now of all your Sarcasm — 
Hungry — Where Found — The Antwerp Merchant and Charles 



V. — Mortgage — Only One Word — Take Bread — Great Fire — Echo 
and Be-Echo — Departure Sudden — The Spaniard and the Moor — 
The Swiftest Horse— Escape— Fly ! Fly! 510 


Help for the Multitude— "When Shall I Awake?"— Elegant 
Literature — Complete Maps Showing all the Bocks, Shoals and 
Quicksands — A Field Comparativly Untouched — Force of Moral 
Gravitation — Easier to go Down than to go Up — Power of Evil 
Habit — Hard to Bow Against the Current — Seventeen Years 
Ago — Tobacco — Eeturn to Old Habits— A Hard Task-master — A 
Brilliant Scene — One Bound More — Two Greetings — Tip-end of 
your Fingers— Hearty, Honest Hand-shake — Thrill of Pleasure — 
"Isn't it Shocking?" — A Special Train — A Hindrance — How Han- 
nibal may Scale the Alps — Help! Help! — Hospital at Antietam— 
No Questions Asked — A Letter — Seek Advice — Sparta Has Con- 
quered—A Holiday Gift— Proudest Moment of Life 519 



A Sick Warrior — Leprosy — Everybody has Something — No 
Desire for this World to be too Bright — Afflictions Sent for a Pur- 
pose—A Faithful Wife— A Waiting Maid— The Finger of Childhood 
— Amateur Astronomy — Christian Children — A Solomn Moment — 
The Physician Instructed— Pride and Leprosy — Something to 
Learn — Getting Mad at Beligion — A Change of Mind — "Huzza! 
Huzza!!" — Thinking Better of the Minister — You Must get Down 
— You must Wash — A Flood Brighter than any Other — Cured. - 530 



The Mediterranean Hurricane — An Old Missionary— The 
Crash — A Struggle for Life — Call the Boll — An Examination of 
Passengers — The Vast Multitude — Encouragement for All- A 
Stark Fool — Take to the Plank — Doesn't Believe in a HeU — Des- 
tination of the Holy and the Debauched— The Man in the Off- 
ing — Believe in Something — Heroism and Self-sacrifice — Come 


in on that One Narrow Beam — A Warm Fire of Welcome — On a 
Mud- Scow — Three Steamers — On that Last Fragment — The 
Death-bed 543 


Ministers May be Lost — The Cast Away— A Dark Night in 
your Memory — Breakers Ahead— Creating False Lights on the 
Beach — All is well — God's Eternal Lighthouse — A Sudden Swoop 
of a Tempest — Cast Away — The Temptation — Through Sheer 
Recklessness — Drifting, Drifting — Stirring up the Ire of God — 
Wake up to Your Perils — Man the Life Boat — Lift a Signal of 
Distress — Lionel Luken- -The Insubmergible Life-boat — A Grand 
Launching — The False Alarm — Begin now 555 



The Captives — You have sold Yourselves — Making Over 
One's Entire Nature — The World a Liar — Post Mortem Emolu- 
ments — The Deceived and Deluded — That was the Rub — Death 
of a Worldling — A Poor Investment — An Awful Vendue — Value 
of a Soul — Good News Told— Value of Money — A Religion of 
Blood — The Vividness of Color — Sickening Sensations — That 
Bid Wins It— Come out Frankly— The Surety— The Deadly Com- 
bat — Freedom — Ransom Refused — Sold out for Eternity 565 


'HOMAS DeWITT TALMAGE was born in Bound- 
_brook, Somerset County, N. J., in the year 183% ,..- 
His father was a farmer, of much vigor and consistency 
of character ; his mother a woman of noted energy, 
hopefulness and equanimity. Their differences in char- 
acter, blended in a common life, rendered their home 
one of harmony, consecration, benignance and cheer- 

The late David T. Talmage, who attained the 
remarkable age of eighty-three years, possessed almost 
phenomenal judgment and firmness, uniting those traits 
which attain their highest expression under American 
institutions, constant communion with nature, habits of 
self-support and self-reflection, and a thorough trust in 
God. Throughout his long career he came to be the 
natural counselor, leader and exemplar to the people 
among whom he lived, in matters alike secular and 
religious ; nor was a fair degree of official distinction 
denied him. The relation, in which he stands to the 
career of his most eminent son, is summed up when it 
is stated that he was a man of blameless life, profound 
discretion, much intelligence, unaffected gentleness, and 
a richness of spiritual experience which made his life an 
exponent of the powers of the world to come. His wife, 
Catharine Talmage, was, in every respect, a helpmeet 



for her husband. Peculiar strength of character marked 
him. Peculiar sweetness of character distinguished 
her. She diffused throughout her family the aroma of 
a meek and quiet spirit. Her gentle humanities were 
ever dispensed within the circle of her influence. 
Where sickness came, she preceded the physician ; where 
sorrow came, the preacher of consolation arriving 
found her there before him. "Her life was not a psalm, " 
but an offertory. One afternoon, in each week, she and 
five of her neighbors were wont to meet, to pray for 
the salvation of their households. Nobody knew why 
these mothers met, there was a sort of mystery about 
it. They met to pray for their children ; they prayed 
until they were all converted. 

From boyhood and throughout his youth, DeWitt, 
always inclining toward a professional career, purposed 
to make that profession the law. Not ignoring that 
manifestation, nor abating a job of their own desire for 
and confidence in a contrary result, his parents, as a 
first requisite to his success in any calling determined 
to endow him with the ever-available, indispensable 
capital of a thorough education. From the first he was 
remarkable for enthusiasm in mental labor; for an 
audacious devotion to those branches of it, for which he 
felt the most fondness and fitness ; for a vocabulary of 
extreme simplicity, directness and brevity ; for powers 
of memory and description of the highest order; for a 
habit of divining his way to right conclusions without 
the tardy processes of proof ; for a tendency to reach 
the heart through illustrations, rather than to harrow 
the head with arguments ; for an entire absence of self- 
consciousness ; and for a disposition of sweetness and 


light, and ideal honorableness. And yet New Jersey 
never contained a merrier, or more mischievous lad, one 
more active in field, or more roguish in school. 

Prepared by the usual course of study for college, 
Mr. Talniage chose for his alma mater the University of 
New York. He passed through that excellent institu- 
tion, not with the maximum of merit marking men who 
are the chief figures on examination days, and ciphers 
ever after to the end of the chapter. But his tropical 
imagination, the confidential relationship established 
between himself and human nature, his prodigious but 
simple powers of expression, his possession of the dra- 
matic in high degree in thought and manner, and his 
inherent love for the pure in morals, and for the ideally 
excellent in life, rendered him the distinguishing expec- 
tation and feature of class and composition days. As a 
belle-lettre scholar, a professor of the university says, 
Mr. Talmage has had no equal in all the students who 
have ever graduated from that institution. On gradu- 
tion day, when he delivered his speech at Niblo's Gar- 
den, the effect was electric and overwhelming ; the most 
part of the audience rising to their feet, under the spell 
of his brilliant, original, mirthful, and pathetic utter- 
ances. Journalist, poet, pleader, politician, or reformer 
he might become, and to any of these roles were his 
powers signally adapted. In favor of his becoming a 
preacher were the prayers of his parents, and the fact 
that his abilities would attain their highest usefulness 
and strength in the advocacy of eternal and fundamental, 
not temporary and tentative truths. The purpose of the 
Deity was soon made manifest, and found to be ordered 
in consonance with the highest human hopes in the case. 


He became a Christian before he was twenty and 
though his earliest preference was the law, the study of 
which he pursued for a year after his graduation, a 
voice of unrest "Woe is me if I preach not the Gospel," 
turned his steps toward the ministry, and he entered 
the New Brunswick Theological Seminary preparatory 
thereto. The step was extremely gratifying to his par- 
ents, although they had not urged the course. He was 
plainly led by the Lord, and not man. The faculties 
which would have made him one of the greatest 
jury advocates of the age, thus were preserved for the 
saving of the souls of men, and "He leadeth me" was 
written in living letters of light over the entrance to his 
life work. 

As his destiny and powers came to manifestation 
in Brooklyn, his pastoral life prior to that was but a 
preparation for it, and obviously laid the foundation 
for, and paved the path to his present great work. At 
Belleville, N. J., on the beautiful Passaic, Mr. Talmage 
first tasted the sweetness of commending Christ to men. 
That cultivated country congregation was an admirable 
school. It was there that young Talmage not only 
"became introduced to himself," but it was also there 
that he bid "a last farewell" to every resolution except 
to count himself as "dirt and accursed" if he knew 
anything among them save Christ and him crucified. 
There he formed strong friendships, which still remain. 

By natural promotion three years at Syracuse suc- 
ceeded three at Belleville. That cultivated, critical city 
furnished Mr. Talmage the value of an audience in 
which professional men were predominant in influence. 
His preaching there grew tonic and free. As Mr. Pitt 


advised a young friend, he "risked himself." The 
church grew from few to many from a state of coma to 
athletic life. The preacher learned to go to school to 
humanity and his own heart. The lessons they taught 
him agreed with what was boldest and most compelling 
in the spirit of the revealed word. Those whose claims 
were sacred to hitn found the saline climate of Syra- 
cuse a cause of unhealth. Otherwise it is likely that 
that most delightful region in the United States — Cen- 
tral New York — for men of letters who equally love na- 
ture and culture, would have been the home of Mr. Tal- 
mage for life. 

The next seven years of Mr. Talmage's life were 
spent in Philadelphia. There his powers became "set." 
He learned what it was he could best do. He had the 
courage of his consciousness and he did it. Previously 
he might have felt it incumbent on him to give to pul- 
pit traditions the homage of compliance — though at 
Syracuse "the more excellent way," any man's own 
way, so that he have the divining gift of genius and the 
nature a-tune to all high sympathies and purposes — had 
in glimpses come to him. He realized that it was his 
duty and mission in the world to make it hear the gospel. 
The church was not to him in numbers a select few, in 
organization a monopoly. It was meant to be the con- 
queror and transformer of the world. For seven years 
he wrought with much success on this theory, all the 
time realizing that his plans could come to fullness only 
under conditions that enabled him to build from the bot- 
tom up an organization which could get nearer to the 
masses and which would have no precedents to be afraid 
of as ghosts in its path. Hence he ceased from being 


the leading preacher in Philadelphia to become in Brook- 
lyn the leading preacher in the world. 

His work there is known to all our readers. It be- 
gan in a cramped brick rectangle, capable of holding 
twelve hundred, and he came to it on "the call" of 
nineteen. In less than two years that was exchanged 
for an iron structure with raised seats, the interior 
curved like a horse-shoe, the pulpit a platform bridging 
the ends. That held three thousand persons. It lasted 
just long enough to revolutionize church architecture in 
cities into harmony with common sense. Then it burnt 
up, that from its ashes the present stately and most 
sensible structure might rise. Gothic, of brick and 
stone, cathedral-like above, amphitheater-like below, it 
holds five thousand as easily as one person, and all can 
hear and see equally well. 

Mr. Talmage is everywhere known as a lecturer, and 
the highest prices are paid for his services ; but he de- 
clines fifty invitations where he accepts one. He will 
for two hours keep his audience in the lecture hall in 
excitement going from tenderest pathos to the most 
boisterous and rollicksome mirth. His resources of 
mimicry are boundless. He is a person above medium 
height, has a deep blue eye and sandy complexion. 
His face, in parlor as well as in pulpit, is mobile to the 
last degree — expressive of not only the difference be- 
tween the grandest emotions of the heart, but of the 
most delicate shades of feeling. He has a warmth of 
manner and a rush of conversational power which 
make young and old immediately at home with him. 
In private life he has more the appearance of an easy, 
off-hand merchant than of a clergyman. His dress 


there, as indeed in the pulpit, is exceedingly plain, but 
always neat and gentlemanly. 

Previous to his visit to Europe, in the Summer of 
1885, he had declined all invitations to preach or lec- 
ture, as he needed rest, but some friendly pressure 
induced him to change his determination. The ser- 
mon he preached in London was delivered in the 
celebrated Wesleyan Chapel, behind which is the 
grave of John Wesley, and in front of which is Bun- 
hill burial ground, where lie the bones of John 
Bunyan, Isaac Watts, Daniel DeFoe and Home 
Tooke. The preacher referred in his sermon to this 
hallowed ground. The chapel was crowded to suf- 
focation. During the indoor services several thousand 
people stood in the front graveyard and in the street, 
impeding travel, and awaiting Dr. Talmage outside. 
After the regular service he came into the church porch 
and addressed the multitude in full voice, and then with 
a smiling face gave out a stirring hymn, after singing 
which the populace made the policemen happy by again 
freeing the thoroughfare. 

Later in the season he preached in the United Pres- 
byterian Synod Hall, Edinburgh, the spacious building 
was filled in every part, all the passages and some of 
the windows even being occupied. For want of room 
hundreds were turned away disappointed. No other 
preacher ever addressed so many constantly. Types 
give him three continents for a church and the English- 
speaking world for a congregation. 

During the years in which he has been preaching 
Mr. Talmage has not only received the criticism of the 
world, but often its misrepresentations ; nor do many 


men escape them, particularly if they are working for 
God and the church. But there is one falsehood told 
in connection with his life which invades the sanctity of 
his home, and deserves only to be mentioned that it 
may denied. 

It has been stated over and over again in private 
circles, and in newspapers hinted, until tens of thou- 
sands of people have heard the report that some years 
ago Mr. Talmage went sailing on the Schuylkill river with 
his wife and her sister; that the boat capsized, and that 
he, having the opportunity of saving one, let his wife 
drown, saved her sister, then married her within sixty 
days. All of which is a lie made out of whole cloth. One 
morning Mr. Talmage's sister, Sarah Talmage White- 
knack, and her daughter, who were visiting him, 
with his wife, daughter and himself started for Fair- 
mount Park. Having just moved to Philadelphia, they 
were ignorant of the topography of the suburbs. Pass- 
ing by the river, they proposed a row, hired a boat and, 
not knowing anything of the dam across the river, and 
unwarned by the keeper of the boat of any danger, he 
pulled straight for the brink, suspecting nothing until 
they saw some one wildly waving on the shore as though 
they were in danger. They looked back and found they 
were already in the current of the dam ; they went over 
and the boat capsized. Mrs. Talmage instantly disap- 
peared and was drawn under the dam, from which her 
body was not - rescued until days after. None of them 
were able to swim a stroke, but managed to hang on 
the bottom of the boat till help came from the shore. 
After an hour of effort to resuscitate his child, who was 
nine-tenths dead, she breathed again. A carriage came, 


and, leaving his wife in the hottom of the Schuylkill 
river, and with his little girl in semi-unconsciousness, 
and blood issuing from nostril and lip, wrapped in a 
shawl, on his lap ; and with his sister Sarah and her 
child in the carriage, they drove to their desolated 
home. Since the world was created a more ghastly 
and agonizing calamity never happened. And that is 
the scene over which some ministers of the gospel, and 
men and women pretending to be decent, have made 
sport. His present wife was not within a hundred 
miles of the place. So far from being sisters they had 
never heard of each other, nor did Mr. Talmage even 
know of the existence of his present wife until nine 
months after that tragedy on the Schuylkill. 

"For a knowledge of human life, and the adaptation 
of Divine truth to the whole being of man, — intellectual 
emotional, moral, practical, for the power of applying 
that truth, we know not his equal." His extraordinary 
imagination, earnestness, descriptive powers and humor, 
his art in grouping and arrangement, his wonderful 
mastery of words to illumine and alleviate human con- 
ditions, and to interpret and inspire the harmonies of 
the better nature, are appreciated by all who can put 
themselves in sympathy with his originality of methods, 
and his high consecration of purpose. His manner 
mates with his nature. Gestures are the accompani- 
ment of what he says, as he stands out before the 
immense throng, without any notes before him, the 
effect produced cannot be understood by those who have 
never seen it. The solemnity, the tears, the awful 
hush, as though the audience could not breathe again, 
are ofttimes painful. 


His voice is peculiar no musical, but productive of 
startling and strong effects, such as characterize no 
preacher on either side of the Atlantic. His power in 
keeping the attention of his audience from text to per- 
oration has no equal. No man was ever less self-con- 
scious in his work. He feels a mission of evangeliza- 
tion on him, as by the imposition of the Supreme. 
That mission he responds to by doing the duty that is 
nearest to him with all his might — as confident that he 
is under the care and order of a Divine Master as those 
who hear him are that they are under the spell of the 
greatest prose-poet that ever made the Gospel his song, 
and the redemption of the race the master passion of 
his heart. 

The judgment of his generation will, of course, be 
divided upon him just as that of the next will not. 
That he is a topic in every newspaper is much more 
significant than the fact of what treatment it gives him. 
Only men of genius are universally commented on. 
The universality of the comment makes friends and foes 
alike prove the fact of the genius. That is what is 
impressive. As for the quality of the comment, it will, 
in nine cases out of ten, be much more a revelation of 
the character behind the pen which writes it than a true 
view or review of the man. This is necessarily so. The 
press and the pulpit in the main are defective judges 
of one another. The former rarely enters the inside of 
the latter's work. There is acquaintanceship, but not 
intimacy between them. Journals find out the fact of 
a preacher's power in time. Then they go looking for 
the causes. Long before, however, the masses have felt 
the causes and have realized, not merely discovered, the 


fact. The penalty of being the leaders of great masses 
has, from Whitefield and Wesley to Spurgeon and Tal- 
mage, been to serve as the target for small wits. A con- 
stant source of attack on men of such magnitude always 
has been and will be the printing-press, which, by the 
common consent of mankind, is described and dispensed 
from all consideration, when rated as Satanic. Its 
attack confirms a man's right to respect and reputation, 
and is a proof of his influence and greatness. It can 
be truly said that while secular criticism in the United 
States favorably regards Mr. Talmage in proportion to 
its intelligence and uprightness, the judgment of for- 
eigners on him has long been an index to the judgment 
of posterity here. No other American is read so much 
and so constantly abroad. 

F. P. V. N. 





It was Monday at a country depot. Two young men are 
to take the cars for the city. Father brought them in a 
wagon with two trunks. The even- 
ing before at the old home was 
a sad time. The neighbors had 
gathered in to say good-by. In- 
deed, all the Sunday afternoon 
there had been a strolling that way 
from adjoining farms, for it was 
generally known that the two boys 
the next morning were going to the 
city to live, and the whole neighbor- 
hood was interested, some hop- 
ing they would do well and 
others, without saying anything, 
hoping for them a city failure, 
talking over the matter the neighbors would interlard 
conversation about the wheat crop of last summer, and 
the apple crop yet to be gathered, with remarks about the 
the city prospects of Edward and Nicholas, for those were 
the names of the two young men — Edward 17, and Nicholas 
19; but Edward, although two years younger, being a little 
quicker to learn, knew as much as Nicholas. They were 
both brown-faced and hearty, and had gone through all the 


What will the boy become? 

Sitting on the fence 


curriculum of hearty sports, by which muscle is developed 

and the chest filled out. 

Father and mother on Monday morning had both re- 
solved to go to the depot with the boys, 
but the mother at the last moment 
backed out, and she said that some- 
how she felt quite weak that morning, 
and had no appetite for a day or two, 
and so concluded to say good-by at the 
front door of the old place ; where she 
went and what she did after the wagon 
left I leave other mothers to guess. 
The breakfast things stood almost till 
noon before they were cleared away. 

INDUSTRY AND STUDY. ,,.■,.„, ., ,, .,/ 

.But little was said on the way to the 
railroad station. As the locomotive whistle was heard com- 
ing around the curve, the father put out his hand— somewhat 
knotted at the knuckles and one of the joints stiffened years 
ago by a wound from a scythe — and said: "Good-by, Ed- 
- ward; good-by, Nicholas. Take good care of yourselves, and 
write as soon as you get there, and let us know how they 
treat you. Your mother will be anxious to hear. " 

Landed in the city, they sought out with considerable in- 
quiry of policemen on street corners and questioning of car- 
drivers the two commercial establishments to which they 
were destined, so far apart that thereafter they seldom saw 
each other, for it is astonishing how far apart two persons 
can be in a large city, especially if their habits are different. 
Practically a hundred miles from Bowling Green to Canal 
street, or from Atlantic avenue to Fulton. 

Edward, being the youngest, we must look after him first. 
He never was in so large a store in all his life. Such inter- 
minable shelves, such skillful imitation of real men and 
women to display goods on, such agility of cash boys, such 
immense stock of goods, and a whole community of em- 





ployes ! His liead is confused as lie seems dropped like a 
pebble in the great ocean of business life. "Have you seen 
that greenhorn from the country?" 
whispers young man to young man. 
"He is in such and such a department. 
We will have to break him in some 
night." Edward stands at his new 
place all day so home- sick that at any 
moment he could have cried aloud if 
his pride JwLnot suppressed every- 
thing. Here and there a tear he 
carelessly dashed off as though it 
were from influenza or a cold in 
the head. But some of you know 
how a young man feels when set down in a city 
strangers, thereafter to fight his own battles, and no 
one near by seeming to care whether he lives or dies. 
The center of a desert, a month's journey to the first settle- 
ment, is not much more solitary. But that evening as the 
hour for closing has come there are two or three young' men 
who sidle up to Edward and ask him how he likes the city, 
and where he expects to go that night, and if he would like 
them to show him the sights. He thanks them, and says he 
shall have to take some evenings for unpacking and making 
arrangements, as he had just arrived, but says that after 
awhile he will be glad to accept their company. After spend- 
ing two or three evenings in his boarding-house room, walk- 
ing up and down, looking at the bare wall or an old chromo 
hung there at the time that religious newspapers by such prizes 
advanced their subscription lists, and after an hour toying 
with the match-box and ever and anon examining his watch 
to see if it is time to retire — and it seems that 10 o'clock at 
night or even 9 o'clock will never come — he resolves to accept 
tho chaperoning of his new friends at the store. 

The following night they are all out together. Although 



his salary is not large, lie is quite flush with pocket money, 
which the old folks gave him after saving by for some time. 
He can not be mean, and these friends are doing all this for 
his pleasure, and so he pays the bills. At the door of places 
of enchantment his companions can not find the change, 
and they accidentally fall behind just as the ticket office is . 
approached, or they say they will make it all right, and will 
themselves pay the next time. Edward, accustomed to farm 
life or village life, is dazed and enchanted with the glitter of 
spectacular sin. Plain and blunt in- 
iquity Edward would have immedi- 
ately repulsed, but sin accompanied 
by bewitching orchestra; sin amid | 
gilded pillars and gorgeous upholstery; j 
sin arrayed in all the attractions that I 
the powers of darkness in combination ; 
can arrange to magnetize a young 
man, is very different from sin in its / 
Jkoathsome and disgusting^shapeJ But 
~afteT~"a''few nights being very late' 
out, he says: "I must stop. My! 
purse won't stand this. My health, 
won't stand this. My reputation won't stand this." In-^ 
deed, one of the business firm one night from his private 
box, in which he applauded a play, in which attitudes and 
phraseology occurred, which if taken or uttered in his own 
parlor would have caused him to shoot or stab the actor on 
the spot — from this high-priced box sees in a cheaper place 
the new clerk of his store, and is led to ask questions as to 
his habits, and wonders how, on the salary the house pays 
him, he can do as he does. Edward, to recover his physical 
vigor and his finances, stopped awhile and spent a few more 
evenings examining the chromo on the wall and counting 
the matches in the match-box, or goes down into the board- 
ing-house parlor to hear the gossip about the other boarders 




or a discourse on the insufficiency of the table fare consider- 
ing the price paid — the criticism severe in proportion as the 
fault-finder pays little or is resolved to leave unceremoniously 
and pay nothing at all. 

" Confound it! " cried the young man, " I cannot stand 
this life any longer, and I must go out and see the world." 
The same young men and others of a now larger acquain- 
tance are ready to escort him. There is never any lack of 
such guidance. If a man wants to go the whole round 
of sin he can find plenty to take 
him, a whole regiment who know 
the way. But after awhile Ed- 
ward's money is all gone. He has 
received his salary again and 
again, but it was spent before he 
got it, borrowing a little here and 
a little there. What shall he do 
now ? Why, he has seen in his 
rounds of the gambling tables 
men who put down a dollar and 
took up ten, put down a hundred 
and took up a thousand. Why dissipation. 

not he ? To reconstruct his finances he takes a hand and 
wins; is so pleased he takes another hand and wins; is in a 
frenzy of delight and takes another hand — and loses all. 

When he first came to the city Edward was disposed to 
keep Sunday in quietness, reading a little and going occa- 
sionally to hear a sermon. Now Sunday is a day of 
carousal. He is so full of intoxicants by 11 o'clock in the 
day he staggers into one of the licensed rum holes of the 

Some morning Edward, his breath stenchful with rum, 
takes his place in the store. He is not fit to be there. He 
is listless or silly or impertinent or in some way incompe- 
tent, and a messenger comes to him and says : " The firm 



" Wliat is the matter ? " says the 
not understand this. Have I done anything ? 
is : " We do not wish any words with you. 

desire to see you in their private office." The gentleman in 
the private office says : " Edward, we will not need you any 
more. We owe you a little money for services since we paid 
you last, and here it is." 

says the young man. " I can- 
The reply 
Our engage- 
ment with each other is ended." " Out of employment ! " 
What does that mean to a good young man? It means op- 
portunity to get another and, perhaps, better place. It 
means opportunity for mental improvement and preparation 
for higher work. " Out of employment! " What does that 
mean to a dissipated young man ? It means a lightning ex- 
press train on a down grade on the Grand Trunk to perdi- 
tion. Al Borak was a winged horse, on which Mohammed 
pretended to have ridden by night from Mecca to Jerusalem 
and from Jerusalem to the seventh heaven with such speed 
that each step was as far as the eye could reach. A young 
man out of employment through his dissipations is seated on 
an Al Borak, riding as fast in the opposite direction. 

It is now only five years since Edward came to town. 
He used to write home once a week 
at the longest. He has not written 
home for three months. " What 
can be the matter ? " say the old 
people at home. One Saturday 
morning the father puts on the best 
apparel of his wardrobe and goes 
to the city to find out. "Oh, he has 
not been here for a long while," say 
the gentlemen of the firm. "Your 
son, I am sorry to say, is on the 
wrong track." The old father 
goes hunting him from place to 
place and comes suddenly upon 
him that night in a place of abandonment. The father says : 




" My sou, come with me. Your mother has sent me to bring 
you home. I hear you are out of money and good clothes, 
and you know as long as we live you can have a home. 
Come right away," he says, putting his hand on the young 
man's shoulder. In angry tone Edward replies: " Take 
your hands off me! You mind yoijr own business! I will do 
as I please ! Take your hands off me or I will strike you 
down! You go your way and I will go mine! " 

That Saturday night, or rather Sunday morning — for it 
is by this time 2 o'clock in the morning — -the father goes to 
the city home of his son Nicholas, and rings the bell, and 
rings again, and it seems as if no answer w r ill be given ; but 
after awhile a window is hoisted and a voice cries: " Who's 
there?" "It's me," says the old man. " Why father, is 
that you ? " In a minute the door is opened and the son 
says : " What in the world brought you to the city at this 
hour of the night ? " "Oh! Edward has brought me here. 
I feared your mother would go stark crazy not hearing from 
him, and I find out that it is worse with him than I expected. 
" Yes," says Nicholas, " I had not the heart to write you 
anything about it. I have tried my best with him and all in 
vain. But it is after 2 o clock," 
says Nicholas to his father, 
" and I will take you to a bed." 

On a comfortable couch in 
that house the old father lies 
down coaxing sleep for a few 
hours, but no sleep comes. 
Whose house is it? That of his 
son Nicholas. The fact is that 
Nicholas, soon after coming to 
the city, became indispensable 
to the commercial establishment 
where he was placed. He knew 
what few persons know, that in all departments of 
business and mechanism and art there is a surplus of 


people of ordinary application and ordinary diligence; there 
in a great scarcity and always has been a great scarcity of 
people who excel. Plenty of people to do things poorly or tol- 
erably well, but very few clerks or business men or mechanics 
who can do splendidly well. Appreciating this, Nicholas had 
resolved to do so grandly that the business firm could not do 
without him. Always at his place a little after everybody 
had gone. As extremely polite to those who decline pur- 
chasing as to those who made large purchases. He drank 
no wine, for he saw it was the empoisonmeiit of multitudes, 
and when anyone asked him to take something he said "No" 
with the peculiar intonation that meant no. His conversa- 
tion was always as pure as if his sisters had been listening. 
He went to no place of amusement where he would be 
ashamed to die. He never bet or gambled, even at a church 
fair. When he was at the boarding-house, after he had got 
all the artistic development he could possibly receive from 
the chromo on the wall, he began to study that which would 
help him to promotion — study penmanship, study biographies 
of successful men; or went forth to places of innocent 
amusement and to Young Men's Christian Associations, and 
was not ashamed to be found at a church prayer-meeting. He 
rose from position to position, and from one salary to another 

Only five years in town and yet he has rented his own 
house or a suite of rooms, not very large, but a home large 
enough in its happiness to be a type of heaven. In the 
morning, as the old father, with handkerchief in hand, 
comes crying down-stairs to the table there are four persons, 
one for each side ; the young man, and opposite to him the 
best blessing that a God of infinite goodness can bestow, 
a good wife; and on another side the high chair filled with 
dimpled and rollicking glee, that makes the grandfather 
opposite smile outside while he has a broken heart within. 

It was Sabbath, and Nicholas and his father, knowing 


that there is no place so appropriate for a troubled soul as the 
house of God, find their way to church. It is communion 
day, and what is the old man's surprise to see his son pass 
down the aisle with one of the silver chalices, showing him 
to be a church official. The fact was that Nicholas, from the/ 
start, in city life honored God, and God had honored him. ; 
"When the first wave of city temptation struck him he had] 
felt the need-of divine guidance and divine protection, and in 
prayer had sought a regenerated heart, and had obtained that 
mightiest of all armor, that mightiest of all protection, that 
mightiest of all reinforcements, the mul^rDotent and omnipo- 
tent grace of God, and you might as well throw a thistle-down 
against Gibraltar, expecting to destroy it, as with all the com- j 
bined temptations of earth and- hell try to overthrow a young 
man who can truthfully say: "God is my refuge and I I 

Come, let us measure Nicholas around the head. As 
many inches of brain as any other intelligent man. Let us 
measure him around the heart. It is so large that it takes 
in all the earth and all the heavens. Measure him around 
the purse. He has more resources than nine-tenths of those 
who on that Monday came in on any of the railroads from 
North, South, East or West. But that Sabbath afternoon, 
while in the back room Nicholas and his father are talking 
over any attempt at the reclamation of Edward, there is a 
ringing of the door-bell and a man with the uniform of a 
policeman stands there ; and a man with some embarrassment 
and some halting, and in a roundabout way, says that in a 
fight in some low haunt of the city Edward had been hurt. 
He says to Nicholas : " I heard that he was some relation 
of yours and thought you ought to know it." " Hurt ? Is 
he badly hurt ? " " Yes very badly hurt." " Is the wound 
mortal ?" " Yes; it is mortal. To tell you the whole truth, 
sir," says the policeman, "although I can hardly bear to tell 
you, he is dead." " Dead ! " cried Nicholas ; and by this 


time the whole family are in the hallway. The father says : 
" Just as I feared. It will kill his mother when she hears of 
it. Oh, my son, my son ! Would -to God I had died for 
thee. Oh, my son, my son ! " " Wash off the wounds," 
says Nicholas, " and hring him right here to my house, and 
let there be all respect and gentleness shown him. It is the 
least we can do for him." 

Oh, what obsequies! The next door neighbors hardly 
knew what was going on; but Nicholas and the father and 
mother knew. Out of the Christian and beautiful home of 
the one brother is carried the dissolute brother. No word of 
blame uttered. No harsh things said. On a bank of camel- 
lias is spelled out the word "Brother." Had the prodigal 
been true and pure and noble and honorable in life and hon- 
orable in death he could not have been carried forth with 
more tenderness or slept in a more beautiful casket, or been 
deposited in a more beautiful garden of the dead. Amid the 
loosened turf the brothers who left the country for city life 
five years before, now part forever. The last scene of the 
fifth act of an awful tragedy of human life is ended. 

What made the difference between these two young men ? 
Religion. The one depended on himself, the other depend- 
ed on Grod. They started from the same home, had the 
same opportunities of education, arrived in the city on the 
same day, and if there was any difference, Edward had the 
advantage, for he was brighter and quicker, and all the 
neighbors prophesied greater success for him than for Nicho- 
las. But behold and wonder at the tremendous secret. 

Nothing in these characters is fictitious except the names. 
They are in every city, and in every street of every city, and 
in every country. Not two of them but ten thousand. They 
are before and round about us, they are invulnerable through 
religious defense and the blasted of city allurements. Those 
who shall have longevity in beautiful homes and others who 
shall have early graves of infamy. All are given the choice 


of the two characters, the two histories, the two experiences, 
the two destinies, the two worlds, the two eternities. 

Standing with the reader at the forks of the road some- 
thing makes me think that if I set before him the termini of 
the two roads he will take the right one. There are many 
who have not fully made up their minds which road to take. 
"Come with us! " cry all the voices of righteousness. "Come 
with us! " cry all the voices of sin. 

Now, the trouble is that many make a disgraceful surren- 
der. As we all know, there is an honorable and dignified 
surrender, as when a small host yields to superior numbers. 
It is no humiliation for a thousand men to yield to ten thou- 
sand. It is better than to keep on when there can be no re- 
sult except that of massacre. But those who surrender to 
sin make a surrender when on their side they have enough 
reserve forces to rout all the armies of Perdition, whether led 
on by what a clemq npgTaph.ev calls Belial, or Beelzebub, or 
Apollyon, or Abaddon, or Ariel. The disgraceful thing about 
the surrender at Sedan was, the French handed over 419 
field-guns and mitrailleuses, 6,000 horses and 83,000 armed 
men. And it is base for that man to surrender to sin when 
all the _annaments of almightiness would have wheeled to the 
front to fight his battle if he had waved one earnest signal. 
But no! He surrendered body, mind, soul, reputation, home, 
pedigree, time and eternity, while yet all the prayers of his 
Christian ancestors were on his side and all the proffered aid 
— supern al, clierubic, seraphic, angelic, deific^ 

The abdication of Alexander, of Bulgaria, caused a great 
deal of talk, but what a paltry throne was that from which 
the unhappy king descended compared with, the abdication of 
that young man, or middle-aged man, or old man, who quits 
the throne of his opportunity and turns his back upon a 
heavenly throne, and tramps off into ignominy and ever- 
lasting exile ! That is an abdication enough to shake a uni- 
verse. In Persia they will not have a blind man on the 


throne, and when a reigning monarch is jealous of some 
ambitious relative he has his eyes extinguished so that he can 
not possibly ever come to the throne. And that suggests the 
difference between the way sin and divine grace take hold of 
a man. The former blinds him so he may never reach the 
throne, while the latter illumines the blind that he may re- 
ceive the coronation. 

I have made up my mind that our city life is destroying 
too many young men. There comes in every September and 
October a large influx of those between sixteen and twenty- 
four years of age, and New York and Brooklyn damn at least 
a thousand of them every year. They are shoveled off and 
down with no more compunction than that with which a 
coal-heaver scoops the anthracite into a dark cellar. What 
with the wine-cup and the gambler's dice, and the scarlet 
enchantress, no young man, without the grace of God, is safe 
ten minutes. There is much discussion about which is the 
worst city of the continent. Some say New York, some say 
New Orleans, some say Chicago, some say St. Louis. What 
I bave to say is, you can not make much comparison between 
tbe infinities, and in all our cities the temptation seems in- 
finite. We keep a great many mills running clay and night. 
No rice-mills or cotton-mills. Not mills of corn or wheat, 
but mills for grinding up men. Such are all the grog-shops, 
licensed and unlicensed. Such are all the gambling saloons. 
Such are all the houses of infamy. And we do all the work 
according to law, and we turn out a new grist every hour, 
and grind up warm hearts and clear heads, and the earth 
about a cider-mill is not more saturated with the beverage 
than the ground about all these mind-destroying institutions 
is saturated with the blood of victims. The cry from the 
cities to the villages and the farm is, "Send us more supply!" 
" Send us more men and women to put under the wheels." 
Give us full chance and we would grind up in the municipal 
mill five hundred a day. We have enough machinery; we 


have enough men who can run them. Give us more homes 
to crush; give us more parental hearts to pulverize! Put 
into the hopper the wardrobes and the family Bibles, and the 
livelihoods of wives and children. Give us more material 
for these mighty miUs, which are wet with tears and sul- 
phurous with woe, and trembling with the earthquakes of an 
incensed God, who will, unless our cities repent, cover us up 
as quick and as deep as in August of the year '79 Vesuvius 
avalanched Herculaneum. 

0, man and woman, ponder the path of thy feet! See 
which way you are going. Will you have the destiny of Ed- 
ward or Nicholas? Plutarch tells us that after Caesar was 
slain and his twenty-three wounds had been displayed to the 
people, arousing an uncontrollable excitement, and the body 
of the dead conqueror, according to ancient customs, had 
been put upon the funeral pile, and the flames arose, people 
rushed up, took from the blazing mass torches "with which 
they ran through the city, crying the glory of the assassina- 
ted ruler, and the shame of his assassinators. On this day, 
when the five bleeding wounds of Christ your King, are 
shown to you, and the fires of his earthly suffering blaze be- 
fore your imagination, take a torch and start heavenward — 
a torch with light for yourself and light for others ; for the 
race that starts at the cross ends at the throne. While the 
twenty-three wounds of Caesar wrought nothing but the con- 
sternation of the people, from the five wounds of our Con- 
queror there flows a transforming power to make all the un- 
counted millions who will accept it, forever happy and for- 
ever free. 




Hardly any young man goes to a place of dissipation 
alone. Each one is accompanied. No man goes to ruin 
alone. He always takes some one else with him. " May it 
please the court," said a convicted criminal, when asked if 
he had anything to say before sentence of death was passed 
upon him — "may it please the court, had company has been 
my ruin. I received the blessings of good parents, and, in 
return, promised to avoid all evil associations. Had I kept 
my promise, I should have been saved this shame, and been 
free from the load of guilt that hangs around me like a vul- 
ture, threatening to drag me to justice for crimes yet unre- 
vealed. I, who once moved in the first circles of society, 
and have been the guest of distinguished public men, am 
lost, and all through bad company." 

This is but one of the thousand proofs that the compan- 
ion of fools shall be destroyed. It is the invariable rule. 
There is a well man in the wards of a hospital, where there 
are a hundred people sick with ship fever, and he will not be 
so apt to take the disease as a good man would be apt to be 
smitten with moral distemper, if shut up with iniquitous 
companions. In olden times prisoners were herded together 
in the same cell, but each one learned the vices of all the cul- 
prits, so that, instead of being reformed by incarceration, 
the day of liberation turned them out upon society beasts 
not men. 

We may, in our places in business, be compelled to talk 
to and mingle with bad men ; but he who deliberately chooses 




to associate himself with vicious people, is engaged in carry- 
ing on a courtship with a Tjflljlflih, whose shears will clip off 
all the locks of his strength, and he will be tripped into 
perdition. Sin is catching, is infectious, is epidemic. I 
will let you look over the millions of people now inhabiting 
the earth, and I challenge you to show me a good man Yfho, 
after one year, has made choice and consorted with the 
wicked. A thousand dollars reward for one such instance. 
I care not how strong your character may be. Associate 
with horse-thieves, you will become a horse-thief. Clan 
with burglars, and you will become a burglar. Go among the 
unclean, and you will become unclean. Many a y'oung man 
has been destroyed by not appreciating this. He wakes up 
some morning in the great city, and knows no one except the 
persons into whose employ he has entered. As he goes into the 
store all the clerks mark him, measure him, and discuss him. 
The upright young men 
of the store wish him well, 
but perhaps wait for a 
formal introduction, and 
even then have some deli- 
cacy about inviting him 
into their associations. 
But the bad young men 
of the store at the first 
opportunity approach and 
offer their services. They 
patronize him. They pro- 
fess to know all about 
the town. They will take 
him anywhere he wishes 
to go— if he will pay the THE SMART CLERK, 

expenses. For if a good young man and a bad young man 
go to some place where they ought not, the good young man 
has invariably to pay the charges. At the moment the ticket 
is to be paid for, or the champagne settled for, the bad young 



man feels around in his pockets and says, " I have forgotten 
my pocket-book. " In forty-eight hours after the young man has 
entered the store the bad fellows of the establishment slap him 
on the shoulder familiarly and, at his stupidity in taking cer- 
tain allusions, say: " My young friend, you will have to be 
broken in;" and they immediately proceed to break him in. 
Young man , in the name of God, I warn you to beware how you 
let a bad man talk familiarly with you. If such an one slap 
you on the shoulder familiarly, turn round and give him a 
withering look, until the wretch crouch in your presence. 
There is no monstrosity of wickedness that can stand 
unabashed under the glance of purity and honor. God 
keeps the lightnings of heaven in his own scabbard, and no 
human arm can wield them; but God gives to every young 
man a lightning that he may use, and that is the lightning 
of an honest eye. Those who 
have been close observers of city 
life will not wonder why I give 
warning to young men, and say, 
"Beware' of evil companions." 
I^warn you to shun the skeptic 
-the young man who puts his fin- 
gers in his vest and laughs at your 
old-fashioned religion, and turns 
over to some mystery of the Bible, 
and says, "Explain that, my pious 
friend; explain that." And who 
says, "Nobody shall scare me; I am 
not afraid of the future; I used to 
believe in such things, and so did 
my father and mother, but I have 
got over it." Yes, he has got over 
it; and if you sit in his company 
a little longer you will get over it 
THE IDLEK. £ 00< "Without presenting one argu- 

ment against the Christian religion, such men will, by their 



jeers and scoffs and caricatures, destroy your respect for that 
religion, which was the strength of your father in his declin- 
ing years, and the pillow of your old mother when she lay 
a-dying. • 



Alas! a time will come when that blustering young infidel 
will have to die, and then his diamond ring will flash no 
splendor in the eyes of Death, as he stands over the couch, 


waiting for his soul. Those beautiful locks will be uncombed 
upon the pillow; and the dying man will say, "I cannot die 
— I cannot die." Death standing ready beside the couch, 
says, "You must die; you have only half a minute to live; 
let me have it right away — your soul." "No," says the 
young infidel, "here are my gold rings, and these pictures; 
take them all." "No," says Death, "What do I care for 
pictures! — your soul." " Stand back," says the dying infidel. 
"I will not stand back," says Death, " for you have only ten 
seconds now to live ; I want your soul." The dying man 
says, "Don't breathe that cold air into my face. You crowd 
me too hard. It is getting dark in the room. God ! " 
" Hush," says Death; " you said there was no God." " Pray 
forme," exclaims the expiring infidel. "Too late to pray," 
says Death; "but three more seconds to live, and I will 
count them off — one— two — three." He has gone! Where? 
Where ? Carry him out — out, and bury him beside his father 
and mother, who died while holding fast the Christian reli- 
gion. They died singing ; but the young infidel only said, 
'' Don't breathe that cold air into my face. You crowd me 
too hard. It is getting dark in the room." 

Again, I urge you to shun the companionship of idlers. 
There are men hanging around every store, and office and 
shop, who have nothing to do, or act as if they had not. 
They are apt to come in when the firm are away and wish to 
engage you in conversation while you are engaged in your 
regular employment. Politely suggest to such persons that 
you have no time to give them during business hours. Nothing 
would please them so well as to have you renounce your oc- 
cupation and associate with them. Much of the time they 
lounge around the doors of engine houses, or after the dining 
hour stand upon the steps of a fashionable hotel or an elegant 
restaurant, wishing to give you the idea that that is the place 
where they dine. But they do not dine there. They are 
sinking down lower and lower, day by day. Neither by day 


nor by night have anything to do with the idlers. Before you 
admit a man into your acquaintance ask him politely, "What 
do you do for a living?" If he says "Nothing, I am a 
gentleman," look out for him. He may have a very soft 
hand, and very faultless apparel, and have a high-sounding 
family name, but his touch is death. Before you know it, 
you will in his presence be ashamed of your work- dress. 
Business will become to you drudgery, and after awhile you 
will lose your place, and afterward your respectability, and 
last of all your soul. Idleness is next door to villainy. 
Thieves, gamblers, burglars, shop-lifters and assassins are 
made from the class who have nothing to do. When the 
police go to hunt up and ^arrest a culprit they seldom go to 
look in at tbe busy carriage factory, or behind the counter 
where diligent clerks are employed, but they go among the 
groups of idlers. The play is going on at the theater, wben 
suddenly tbere is a scuffle in the top gallery. What is it? A 
policeman has come in, and, leaning over, has tapped on the 
shoulder of a young man, saying, "I want you, sir." He has 
not worked during the day, but somehow has raked together 
a shilling or two to get into the top gallery. He is an idler. 
The man on his right hand is an idler, and the man on his 
left hand is an idler. 

During the £>ast few years there has been a great deal of 
dullness in business. Young men have complained that they 
have little to do. If they have nothing else to do they can 
read and improve their minds and hearts. These times are 
not always to continue. Business is waking up, .and the 
superior knowledge that in this mterregnum of work you may 
obtain will be worth fifty thousand dollars of capital. The 
large fortunes of the next twenty years are having their 
foundations laid this winter by the young men who are giving 
themselves to self-improvement. I went into a store in New 
York and saw five men, all Christians, sitting round, saying 
that they had nothing to do. It is an outrage for a Christian 



man to have nothing to do. Let him go out and visit the 
poor, or distribute tracts, or go and read the Bible to the sick, 
or take out his New Testament and be making his eternal 
fortune. Let him go into the back office and pray. 

Shrink back from idleness in yourself and in others, if 
you would maintain a right position. Good old Ashbel 
Green, at more than eighty years of age, was found busy 
writing, and some young man said to him : ' ' Why do you 
keep busy? It is time for you to rest?" He answered: "I 
keep busy to keep out of mischief." No man is strong enough 
to be idle. 

Are you fond of pictures? If so I will show you one of 
the works of an old master. Here it is: "I went by the field 
of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of under- 
standing; and lo! it was all grown over with thorns, and 
nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall was 
broken down. Then I saw and considered well. I looked 
upon it and received instruction. Yet a little sleep, a little 
slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep. So shall thy 
poverty come as one that traveleth and thy want as an armed 
man." I don't know of another sentence in the Bible more 
explosive than that. It first hisses softly, like the fuse of a 
cannon, and at last bursts like a fifty-four pounder. The old 
proverb was right: " The devil tempts most men, but idlers 
tempt the devil." 

A young man came to a man of ninety years of age 
and said to bim: " How have you made out to live so long 
and be so well ? " The old man took the youngster to an 
orchard, and, pointing to some large trees full of apples, said: 
" I planted these trees when I was a boy, and do you wonder 
that now I am permitted to gather the fruit of them ? " We 
gather in old age what we plant in our youth. Sow to the 
wind and we reap the whirlwind. Plant in early life the 
right kind of a Christian character, and you will eat luscious 
fruit in old age and gather these harvest apples in eternity, 



I urge you to avoid the perpetual pleasure-seeker. I be- 
lieve in recreation and amusement. I need it as much as I 
need bread, and go to my gymnasium with as conscientious 
a purpose as I go to the Lord's Supper; and all persons of 
sanguine temperament must have amusement and recreation. 
God would not have made us with the capacity to laugh if 
he had not intended us sometimes to indulge it. God 
hath hung in sky, and set in wave, and printed on grass 
many a roundelay; but he who chooses pleasure-seeking for 
his life-work does not understand for what God made him. 
Our amusements are intended to help us in some earnest 
mission. The thunder-cloud hath an edge exquisitely purpled, 
but with voice that jars the earth it declares, "I go to water 
the green fields." The wild-flowers under the fence are gay, 
but they say, " We stand here to make room for the wheat- 
field, and to refresh the husbandmen in their nooning." The 
stream sparkles and foams and frolics and says, " I go to 
baptize the moss. I lave the spots on the trout. I slake the 
thirst of the bird. I turn the wheel of the mill. I rock in 
my. crystal cradle muckshaw and water-lily." And so, while 
the world plays, it works. Look out for the man who always 
plays and never works. 

You will do well to avoid those whose regular business it 
is to play ball, skate or go a-boating. All these sports are 
grand in their places. I never derived so much advantage 
from any ministerial association as from a ministerial 
club that went out to play ball every Saturday afternoon in 
the outskirts of Philadelphia. These recreations are grand 
to give us muscle and spirits for our regular toil. I believe 
in muscular Christianity. A man is often not so near God 
with a weak stomach as when he has a strong digestion. 
But shun those who make it their life occupation to sport. 
There are young men whose industry and usefulness have 
fallen overboard from the yacht. There are men whose bus- 
iness fell through the ice of the skating pond and has never 


since been beard of. Tbere is a beauty in tbe gliding of a 
boat, in the song of skates, in the soaring of a well-struck 
ball, and I never see one fly but I involuntarily throw up ray 
hands to catch it; and, so far from laying an injunction upon 
ball-playing, or any other innocent sport, I claim them all as 
belonging of right to those of us who toil in the grand indus- 
tries of church and state. 

But the life business of pleasure-seeking always makes 
in the end, a criminal or a sot. George Brummel was smiled 
upon by all England, and his life was given to pleasure. He 
danced with peeresses, and swung a round of mirth and 
wealth and applause, until, exhausted of purse, and worn out 
of body, and bankrupt of reputation, and ruined of soul, he 
begged a biscuit from a grocer, and declared that he thought 
a dog's life was better than a man's. 

Such men will crowd around your anvil, or seek to decoy 
you off. They will want you to break out in the midst of 
your busy day to take a ride with them. They will tell you 
of some people you must see ; of some excursion that you 
must take ; of some Sabbath day that you ought to dishonor. 
They will tell you of exquisite wines that you must take ; of 
costly operas that youjprust hear; of wonderful dancers that 
you must see; but before you accept their convoy or their 
companionship, remember that while at the end of a useful 
life you may be able to look back to kindnesses done, to hon- 
orable work accomplished, to poverty helped, to a good name 
earned, to Christian influence exerted, to a Saviour's cause 
advanced — these pleasure-seekers on their death-bed have 
nothing better to review than a torn play-bill, a ticket for the 
races, an empty tankard, and the cast-out rinds of a carousal; 
and as in the delirium of their awful death they clutch the 
goblet, and press it to their lips, the dregs of the cup falling 
upon their tongue, will begin to hiss and uncoil with the 
adders of an eternal poison. 

Cast out these men from your company. Do not be inti- 


mate with them. Always be polite. There is no demand 
that you ever sacrifice politeness. A young man accosted a 
Christian Quaker with "Old chap, how did you make all your 
money?" The Quaker replied, "By dealing in an article 
I that thou mayest deal in if thou wilt — civility. " Always be 
i courteous, but at the same time firm. Say no as if you 
meant it. Have it understood in store, and shop, and street 
that you will not stand in the companionship of the skeptic, 
the idle, the pleasure-seeker. 

Bather than enter the companionship of such, accept the 
invitation to a better feast. The promises of God are the 
fruits. The harps of heaven are the music. Clusters from 
the vineyards of God have been pressed into the tankards. 
The sons and daughters of the Lord Almighty are the guests. 
While, standing at the banquet, to fill the cups and divide 
the clusters, and command the harps, and welcome the 
: guests, is a daughter of God on whose brow are the blossoms 
of Paradise, and in whose cheek is the flush of celestial sum- 
mer. Her name is Beligion. 

"Her ways are ways of pleasantness, 
And all her paths are peace." 



When night came down on Babylon, Ninevah and Jerusa- 
lem, they needed careful watching, otherwise the incendiary's 
torch might have been thrust into the very heart of the me- 
tropolitan splendor; or enemies, marching from the hills, 
might have forced the gates. All night long, on top of the 
wall and in front of the gates might be heard the measured 
step of the watchman on his solitary beat; silence hung in 
the air, save as some passer by raised the question: "Watch- 
man, what of the night?" It is to me a deeply suggestive 
and solemn thing to see a man standing guard by night. It 
thrilled through me, as at the gate of an arsenal at Charles- 
ton, the question once smote me: " Who comes there? " 
followed by the sharp command: " Advance and give the 
countersign." Every moral teacher stands on picket, or pa- 
trols the wall as watchman. His work is to sound the alarm; 
and whether it be in the first watch, in the second watch, in 
the third watch, or in the fourth watch, to be vigilant until 
the daybreak flings its "morning glories" of blooming cloud, 
across the arching trellis of the sky. The ancients divided 
their night into four parts — the first watch, from 6 to 9; the 
second, from 9 to 12; the third, from 12 to 3; and the fourth, 
from 3 to 6. 

I never weary of looking upon the life and brilliancy of 
the city in the first watch. That is the hour when the stores 
are closing. The laboring men, having quitted the scaffold- 
ing and the shop, are on their way home. It rejoices me to 
give them my seat in the city car. They have stood and ham- 



mered away all day. Their feet are weary. They are ex- 
hausted with the tug of work. They are mostly cheerful. 
With appetites sharpened on the swift turner's wheel and the 
carpenter's whetstone, they seek the evening meal. The 
clerks, too, have broken away from the counter, and with 
brain weary of the long line of figures and the whims of those 
who go a shopping, seek the face of mother, or wife and child. 
The merchants are unharnessing themselves from their anxie- 
ties on their way up the street. The boys that lock up are 
heaving away at the shutters, shoving the heavy bolts and 
taking a last look at the fire to see that all is safe. The 
streets are thronged with young men, setting out from the 
great centers of bargain-making. Let idlers clear the street, 
and give right of way to the besweated artisans and merchants ! 
They have earned their bread and are now on their way 
home to get it. The lights in full jet hangover ten thousand 
evening repasts — the parents at either end of the table, the 
children between. Thank God, "who setteth the solitary in 

A few hours later, and all the places of amusement, good 
and bad, are in full tide. Lovers of art, catalogue in hand, 
stroll through the galleries and discuss the pictures. The 
ballroom is resplendent with the rich apparal of those who, 
on either side of the white, glistening boards, await the signal 
from the orchestra. The footlights of the theater flash up; 
the bell rings, and the curtain rises; and out from the gor- 
geous scenery glide the actors, greeted with the vociferation 
of the expectant multitudes. Concert halls are lifted into en- 
chantment with the warble of one songstress, or swept out 
on a sea of tumultuous feeling by the blast of brazen instru- 
ments. Drawing-rooms are filled with all gracefulness of 
apparel, with all sweetness of sound, with all splendor of 
manner; mirrors are catching up and multiplying the scene, 
until it seems as if in infinite corridors there were garlanded 
groups advancing and retreating. The outdoor air rings 


with laughter, and with the moving to and fro of thousands 
on the great promenades. The dashing span adrip with the 
foam of the long country ride, rushes past as you halt at the 
curbstone. Mirth, revelry, beauty, fashion, magnificence 
mingle in the great metropolitan picture until the thinking 
man goes home to think more seriously, and the praying 
man to pray more earnestly. A beautiful and overwhelming 
thing is the city in the first and second watches of the night. 
But the clock strikes 12 and the third watch has begun. 
The thunder of the city has rolled out of the air. The slight- 
est sounds cut the night with such distinctness as to attract 
your attention. The tinkling of the bell of the street car in 
the distance, and the baying of the dog. The stamp of a ■ , 
horse in the next street, the slamming of a saloon door; the 
hiccough of the drunkard; the shriek of the steam whistle 
five miles away. 0, how suggestive, my friends, the third 
watch of the night. There are honest men passing up and 
down the street. Here is a city missionary who has been 
carrying a scuttle of coal to that poor family in that dark 
place. Here is an undertaker going up the steps of a build- 
ing from which comes a bitter cry which indicates that the 
destroying angel has smitten the first-born. Here is a minis- 
ter of religion who has been giving the sacrament to a dying 
Christian. Here is a physician passing along in great haste, 
the messenger a few steps ahead hurrying on to the house- 
hold. Nearly all the lights have gone out in the dwellings, 
for it is the third watch of the night. That light in the 
window is the light of the watcher, for the medicines must 
be administered, and the fever must be watched, and the rest- 
less tossing off of the coverlid must be resisted, and the ice 
must be kept on hot temples, and the perpetual prayer must 
go up from hearts soon to be broken. Oh, the third watch of 
the night. What a stupendous thought — a whole city at rest. 
Weary arms preparing for to-morrow's toil. Hotbrain being 
cooled off, Eigid muscles relaxed. Excited nerves soothed. 


The white hair of the octogenarian in thin drifts across the 
pillow, fresh fall of flakes on snow already fallen. Childhood 
with its dimpled hand thrown out on the pillow and with 
every breath taking in a new store of fun and frolic. Third 
watch of the night! God's slumberless eye will look. Let 
one great wave of refreshing slumber roll over the heart of 
the great town, submerging care and anxiety, and worri- 
ment and pain. 

Let the city sleep. But, my friends, be not deceived. 
There will be thousands to-night who will not sleep at all. 
Go up that dark alley, and be cautious where you tread, lest 
you fall over the prostrate form of a drunkard lying on his 
own doorstep. Look about you, lest you feel the garroter's 
hug. Look through the broken window-pane, and see what 
you can see. You say: "Nothing." Then listen. What is it? 
" God help us ! " No footlights, but tragedy ghastlier and 
mightier than Eistori or Edwin Booth ever enacted. No 
light, no fire, no bread, no hope. Shivering in the cold, they 
have had no food for twenty-four hours. You say : " Why 
don't they beg? " They do, but they get nothing. You say: 
" Why don't they deliver themselves over to the almshouse?" 
Ah ! you would not ask that if you ever heard the bitter cry 
of a man or a child when told he must go to the almshouse. 
" Oh," you say, " they are vicious poor, and, therefore, they do 
not deserve our sympathy." Are they vicious? So much 
more need they your pity. The Christian poor, God helps 
them. Through their night there twinkles the round, merry 
star of hope, and through the broken window-pane they see_ 
the crystals of heaven; but the vicious poor, they are more 
to be pitied. Their last light has gone out. You excuse 
yourself from helping them by saying they are so bad, they 
brought this trouble on themselves. I reply, where I give 
ten prayers for the innocent who are suffering I will give 
twenty prayers for the guilty who are suffering. The fisher- 
man, when he sees a vessel dashing into the breakers, comes 

i Hi 'H aiSTlAN POOK 


out from his hut and wraps the warmest flannels around 
those who are most chilled and most bruised and most bat- 
tered in the wreck; and I want you to know that these 
vicious poor have had two shipwrecks — shipwreck of the 
body, shipwreck of the soul — shipwreck for time, shipwreck 
for eternity. Pity, by all means, the innocent who are suf- 
fering, but pity more the guilty. 

Pass on through the alley. Open the door. " Oh," you 
say, " it is locked." No, it is not locked. It has never been 
locked. No burglar would be tempted to go in there to steal 
anything. The door is never locked. Only a broken chair 
stands against the door. Shove it back. Go in. Strike a 
match. Now, look. Beastliness and rags. See those glaring 
eyeballs. Be careful now what you say. Do not utter any 
insult, do not utter any suspicion, if you value your life. 
What is that red mark on the wall? It is the mark of a 
murderer's hand! Look at those two eyes rising up out of 
the darkness and out from the straw in the corner, coming 
toward you, and as they come near you, your light goes out. 
Strike another match. Ah! this is a babe, not like those 
beautiful children presented in baptism. This little one 
never smiled; it never will smile. A flower flung on an 
awfully barren beach. Oh, Heavenly Shepherd, fold that 
little one in thy arms. Wrap around you your shawl or your 
coat tighter, for the cold wind sweeps through. Strike 
another match. Ah! is it possible that that young woman's 
scarred and bruised face ever was looked into by maternal 
tenderness ? Utter no scorn. Utter no harsh word. No ray 
of hope has dawned on that brow for many a year. No ray 
of hope ever will dawn on that brow. But the light has gone 
out. Do not strike another light. It would be a mockery to 
kindle another light in such a place as that. Pass out and 
pass down the street. All our great cities are full of such 
homes, and the worst time the third watch of the night. 

Do you know it is in this third watch of the night that 




criminals do their worst work? It is the criminal's watch. 
At 8:30 o'clock you will find them in the drinking saloon, 
but toward 12 o'clock they go to their garrets, they get out 
their tools, then they start on the street. Watching on either 
side for the police, they go to their work of darkness. This 
is a burglar, and the false key will soon touch the store loy 
This is an incendiary, and before morning there will be 
light on the sky, and a cry of "Fire! fire!" This is an 
assassin, and to-morrow morning there will be a dead body 
in one of the vacant lots. During the daytime these villains 
in our cities lounge about, some asleep and some awake, but 
when the third watch of the night arrives, their eye keen, 
their brain cool, their arm strong, their foot fleet to fly or 
pursue, they are ready. Many of these poor creatures were 
brought up in that way. They were born in a thieves' gar- 
ret. Their childish toy was a burglar's dark lantern. The 
first thing they remember was their mother bandaging the 
brow of their father, struck by the police club. They began 
by robbing boys' pockets, and now they have come to dig the 
underground passage to the cellar of the bank, and are pre- 
paring to blast the gold vault. Just so long as there are 
neglected clildren of the street, just so long we will have 
these desperadoes. Some one, wishing to make a good 
Christian point and to quote a passage of Scripture, expecting 
to get a Scriptural passage in answer, said to one of these 
poor lads, cast out^ and wretched: "When your father and 
your mother forsake you, who, then, will take you up? " and 
the boy said: " The perlice, the peiiice! " 

In the third watch of the night gambling does its worst 
work. What though the hours be slipping away, and though 
the wife be waiting in the cheerless home? Stir up the fire. 
Bring on more drinks. Put up more stakes. That commer- 
cial house that only a little while ago put out a sign of 
copartnership will this winter be wrecked on a gambler's 
table. There will be many a money-till that will spring a 


leak. A member of Congress gambled with a member elect 
and won one hundred and twenty thousand dollars. The 
old way of getting a living is so slow. The old way of get- 
ting a fortune is so stupid. Come, let us toss up and see 
who shall have it. And so the work goes on, from the 
wheezing wretches pitching pennies in a rum grocery up to 
the millionaire gambler in the stock market. In the third 
watch of the night, pass down the streets of these cities, and 
you hear the click of the dice, and the sharp, keen stroke of 
the ball on the billiard-table. At these places merchant 
princes dismount, and legislators, tired of making laws, take 
a respite in breaking them. All classes of people are robbed 
by this crime — the importer of foreign silks and the dealer 
in Chatham street pocket handkerchiefs. The clerks of the 
store take a hand after the shutters are put up, and the 
officers of the court while away their time while the jury is 
out. In Baden-Baden, when that city was the greatest of all 
gambling places on earth, it was no unusual thing the next 
morning, in the woods around about the city, to find the 
suspended bodies of suicides. "Whatever be the splendor of 
the surroundings, there is no excuse for this crime. The 
thunders of eternal destruction roll in the deep rumble of that 
gambling ten-pin alley, and as men come out to join the long 
procession of sin, all the drums of death beat the dead-march 
of a thousand souls. In one year, in the city of New York, 
there were seven million dollars sacrificed at the gaming 
table. Perhaps some of your friends have been smitten 
by it. 

Look out for those agents of iniquity who tarry round 
about the hotels, and ask you: " Would you like to see the 
city?" "Yes." " Have you ever seen that srdendid build- 
ing up town? " " No:" Then the villian will undertake to 
show you what he calls the "lions" and the "elephants," and 
after a young man, through morbid curiosity or through bad- 
ness of soul, has seen the " lions " and the " elephants," he 


will be on enchanted ground. Look out for these men who 
move around the hotels with sleek hats, and patronizing air, 
and unaccountable interest about your welfare and entertain- 
ment. You are a fool if you can not see through it. They 
want your money. On Chestnut street, in Philadelphia, 
while I was living in that city, an incident occurred which | 
was familiar to us there. A young man went into a gamb- 
ling saloon, lost all his property, then blew his brains out, 
and before the blood was washed from the floor by the maid 
the comrades were shutting cards again. You see there is 
more mercy in the highwayman for the belated traveler on 
whose body he heaps the stones, there is more mercy in 
the frost for the flower that it kills, there is more mercy in 
the hurricane that shivers the steamer on the Long Island 
coast; than there is mercy in the heart of a gambler for his 

In the third watch of the night, also, drunkenness does 
its worst. The drinking will be respectable at 8 o'clock in 
the evening, a little flushed at 9, talkative and garrulous at 
10, at 11 blasphemous, at 12 the hat falls off, at 1 the man 
falls to the floor asking for more drink. Strewn through the > 
drinking saloons of the city, fathers, brothers, husbands, sons 
as good as you are by nature, perhaps better. In the high 
circles of society it is hushed up. A merchant prince, if he 
gets noisy and uncontrollable, is taken by his fellow-rev- 
elers, who try to get him to bed, or take him home, where 
he falls flat in the entry. Do not wake up the children. 
They have had disgrace enough. Do not let them know it. 
Hush it up. But sometimes it can not be bushed up, when 
the rum touches the brain and the man becomes thoroughly 
frenzied. Such a one came home, having been absent for 
some time and during his absence his wife had died, and she 
lay in the next room prepared for the obsequies, and he went 
in and dragged her by the locks, and shook her out of her 
shroud, and pitched her out of the window. 


Oh ! when rum touches the brain you can not hush it up. 
My friends, you see all round about you the need that some- 
thing radical be done. You do not see the worst. In the 
midnight meetings in London a great multitude have been 
saved. We want a few hundred Christian men and women 
to come down from the highest circles of society to toil amid 
these wandering and destitute ones, and kindle up a light in 
the dark alley, even the gladness of heaven. Do not go 
wrapped in your fine furs and from your well-filled tables 
with the idea that pious talk is going to stop the gnawing of 
an empty stomach, or to warm stockingless feet. Take 
bread, take raiment, take medicine as well as take prayer. 
There is a great deal of common sense in what the poor 
woman said to the city missionary, when he was telling her 
*tow she ought to love God and serve him. " Oh," she said, 
" if you were as poor and cold as I am, and as hungry, you 
could think of nothing else." A great deal of what is called 
Christian work goes for nothing, for the simple reason it 
is not practical, as after the battle of Antietam a man got 
out of an ambulance with a bag of tracts, and he went dis- 
tributing the tracts, and George Stuart, one of the best 
Christian men in this country, said to him : " What are you 
distributing tracts for now? There are three thousand men 
bleeding to death. Bind up their wounds, and then distrib- 
ute the tracts." 

We want more common sense in Christian work, taking 
the bread of this life in one hand and the bread of the next 
life in the other hand. No such inapt work as that done by 
the Christian man who, during the last war, went into a hos- 
pital with tracts, and, coming to the bed of a man whose legs 
had been amputated, gave him a tract on the sin of danc- 
ing! I rejoice before God that never are sympathetic words 
uttered, never a prayer offered, never a Christian alms-giving 
indulged in but it is blessed. There is a place in Switzer- 
land, I have been told, where the utterance of one word will 


bring back a score of echoes ; and I tell you that a sympa- 
thetic word, a kind word, a generous word, a helpful word, 
uttered in the dark places of the town, will bring back ten 
thousand echoes from all the thrones of heaven. Those who 
know by experience the tragedies in the third watch of the 
night I would not thrust back by one hard word. Take the 
bandage from your bruised soul, and put on it the soothing- 
salve of Christ's Gospel and of God's compassion. Many 
have come others are coming to God, tired of the sinful life. 
Cry up the news to heaven. Set all the bells ringing. 
Spread the banquet under the arches. Let the crowned 
heads come down and sit at the jubilee. I tell you there is 
more delight in heaven over one man who becomes reformed 
by the grace of God than over ninety and nine who never get 
off the track. 

I could give you the history in a minute of one of the best 
friends I ever had. Outside of my own family I never had 
a better friend. He welcomed me to bis home at the West. 
He was of splendid personal appearance, but he had an ardor 
of soul and a warmth of affection that made me love him like 
a brother. I saw men coming out of the saloons and gam- 
bling hells, and they surrounded my friend and they took 
him at the weak point, his social nature, and I saw him go- 
ing down, and I had a fair talk with him — for I never yet 
saw a young man you could not talk with on the subject of 
his habits, if you talked to him in the right way. I said to 
him: " "Why don't you give up your bad habits and become 
a Christian? " 1 remember now just how he looked, leaning 
over his counter, as he replied: "I wish I could. Oh, sir, I 
should like to be a Christian, but I have gone so far astray 
that I can't get back." So the time went on. After awhile 
the day of sickness came. I was summoned to his sick bed. 
I hastened. It took me but a very few moments to get there. 
I was surprised as I went in. I saw him in his ordinary 
dress, fully dressed, lying on the top of the bed. I gave him 


my hand, and he seized it convulsively and said: " Oh, how 
glad I am to see you ! Sit down there." I sat down and he 
said: " Mr. Talmage, just where you sit now my mother sat 
last night. She has been dead twenty years. Now, I don't 
want you to think I am out of my mind, or that I am 
superstitious; but, sir, she sat there last night just as cer- 
tainly as you sit there now — 'the same cap and apron 
and sj>ectacles. It was my old mother — she sat there." 
Then he turned to his wife and said : " I wish you would 
take these strings off the bed ; somebody is wrapping strings 
around me all the time. I wish you would stop that annoy- 
ance." She said: " There is nothing here." Then I saw it 
was delirium. He said: " Just where you sit now my 
mother sat, and she said : ' Koswell, I wish you would do 
better — I wish you would do better.' I said: 'Mother, I 
wish I could do better; I try to do better, but I can't. 
Mother, you used to help me; why can't you help me now? ' 
And sir, I got out of bed, for it was a reality, and I went to 
her, and threw my arms around her neck, and I said: 
• Mother, I will do better, but you must help; I can't do this 
alone.' I knelt down and prayed." Tbat night his soul 
went to the Lord who made it. Arrangements were made 
for the obsequies. The question was raised whether they 
should bring him to the church. Somebody said: " You can 
not bring such a dissolute man as that into the church." I 
said : " You will bring him into the church ; he stood by me 
when he was alive, and I will stand by him when he is dead. 
Bring him in." As I stood in the pulpit and saw them carry- 
ing the body up the aisle, I felt as if I could weep tears of 
blood. On one side of the pulpit sat his little child of 8 
years, a sweet, beautiful little girl that I have seen him hug 
convulsively in his better moments. He put on her all jew- 
els, all diamonds, and gave her all pictures and toys, and 
then he would go away as if hounded by an evil spirit, to his 
cups and the house of shame — a fool to the correction of 


the stocks. She looked up wonderingly. She knew not 
what it all meant. She was not old enough to understand 
the sorrow of an orphan child. On the other side of the pul- 
pit sat the men who had ruined him; they were the men who 
had poured the wormwood into the orphan's cup; they were 
the men who had bound him hand and foot. I knew them. 
How did they seem to feel? Did they weep? No. Did 
they say: " What a pity that so generous a man should be de- 
stroyed?" No. Did they sigh repentingly over what they 
had done? No; they sat there, looking as vultures look at 
the carcase of a lamb whose heart they had ripped out. So 
they sat and looked at the coffin lid, and I told them of the 
judgment of God upon those who had destroj-ed their fel- 
lows. Did they reform? I was told they were in the places 
of iniquity the night after my friend was laid in Oakwood 
Cemetery, and they blasphemed and they drank. Oh, how 
merciless men are, especially after they have destroyed you. 
Do not look to men for comfort or help. Look to God. 

But there is a man who will not reform. He says: " I 
won't reform." Well then how many acts are there in a 
tragedy? I believe five. Act the first of the tragedy — A 
young man starting off from home. Parents and sisters 
weeping to have him go. Wagon rising over the hill. Fare- 
well kiss flung back. EiDg the bell and let the curtain fall. 
Act the second : The marriage altar. Full organ. Bright 
lights. Long white veil trailing through the aisle. Prayer 
and congratulation, and exclamation of "How well she 
looks ! " Act the third : A woman waiting for staggering steps. 
Old garments stuck into the broken window pane. Marks 
of hardship on the face. The biting of the nails of bloodless 
fingers. Neglect and cruelty and despair. Ring the bell 
and let the curtain drop. Act the fourth: Three graves in a 
dark place — grave of the child that died for lack of medicine, 
grave of the wife that died of a broken heart, grave of the 
man that died of dissipation. Oh! what a blasted heath 



with three graves ! Plenty of weeds, but no flowers. King 
the bell and let the curtain drop. Act the fifth : A destroyed 
soul's eternity. No light; no music; no hope; anguish coil- 
ing its serpents around the heart; blackness of darkness for- 


ever. But I can not look any longer. Woe ! woe ! I close 
rny eyes to this last act of the tragedy. Quick ! quick ! ring 
the bell and let the curtain drop. " Eejoice, young man, in 
thy youth, and let thy heart rejoice in the days of thy youth, 
but know thou that for all these tbings God will bring you 
into judgment. " " There is a way that seemeth right to a 
man, but the end thereof is death." 



Feasting has been known in all ages. It was one of the 
most exciting times in English history when Queen Elizabeth 
visited Lord Leicester at Kenilworth Castle. The moment 
of her arrival was considered so important that all the clocks 
of the castle Avere stopped, so that the hands might point to 
that one moment as being the most significant of all. She 
was greeted at the gate with floating islands, and torches, 
and the thunder of cannon, and fireworks that set the night 
ablaze, and a great burst of music that lifted the whole scene 
into perfect enchantment. Then she was introduced into a 
dining-hall the luxuries of which astonished the world; four 
hundred servants waited upon the guests ; the entertainment 
cost five thousand dollars each day. Lord Liecester made 
that great supper in Kenilworth Castle. 

Cardinal Wolsey entertained the French Embassadors at 
Hampton Court. The best cooks in all the land prepared for 
the banquet; purveyors went out and traveled all the king- 
dom over to find spoils for the table. The time came. The 
guests were kept during the day hunting in the King's park, so 
that their appetites might be keen ; and then in the evening, to 
the sound of the trumpeters, they were introduced into a hall 
hung with silk and cloth of gold, and there were tables a glit- 
ter with imperial plate, and laden with the rarest meats, and 
ablush with the costliest wines ;and when the second course of 
the feast came it was found that the articles of food had been 
fashioned into the shape of men, birds and beasts, and groups 
dancing, and jousting parties riding against each other with 
ances. Lords and princes and embassadors out of cups 




filled to the brim drank the health, first of the King of Eng- 
land, and next of the King of France. Cardinal Woolsey 
prepared that great supper at Hampton Court. 


The Babylonian feast was a more exciting banquet. Night 
was about to come clown upon the city. The shadow of her 
two hundred and fifty six towers began to lengthen. The 
Euphrates rolled on, touched by the fiery splendors of the 
setting sun, and gates of brass, burnished and glittering, 



opened and shut like doors or flame. The hanging gardens 
of Babylon, wet with heavy dew, began to pour from starlit 
flowers and dripping leaf a fragrance for many miles around. 
The streets and squares were lighted for dance and frolic and 


promenade. The theaters and galleries of art invited the 
wealth and pomp and grandeur of the city to rare entertain- 
ments. Scenes of riot and wassail were mingled in every 
street, and godless mirth and outrageous excess and splendid 
wickedness came to the King's palace to do their mightiest 
deeds of darkness. A royal feast to-night at the King's pal- 
ace! Bushing up to the gates are chariots upholstered with 
precious cloths from„Dedan and drawn by nre-eye'd horses 
from Togarmah that rear and neigh in the grasp of the chari- 
oteers; while a thousand lords dismount, and women dressed 
in all the splendor of Syrian emerald, and the color blending 
of agate, and the chasteness of coral, and the somber glory of 
Tyrian purple, and princelv embroideries brought from afar 


by camels across the desert and by ships of Tarshish across 
the sea. Open wide the gates and let the guests come in! 
The chamberlains and cup-bearers are all ready. Hark to 
the rustle of the silks and to the carol of the music! See the 
blaze of the jewels ! Lift the banners ! Fill the cups! Clap 
the cymbals ! Blow the trumpets ! Let the night go by with 
song and dance and ovation; and let that Babylonish tongue 
be palsied that will not say: " Oh, King Belshazzar, live for- 

Ah, my readers ! It was not any . common banquet to 
which these great people came. All parts of the earth had 
sent their richest viands to that table. Brackets and chandel- 
iers flashed their light upon the tankards of burnished gold. 
Fruits, ripe and luscious, in baskets of silver entwined with 
leaves, plucked from royal conservatories. Vases inlaid with 
emerald and ridged with exquisite traceries, filled with nuts 
that were threshed from forests of distant lands. Wiioe 
brought from the royal vats, foaming in the decanters and 
bubbling in the chalices. Tufts of cassia and frankincense 
wafting their sweetness from wall and table. Gorgeous ban- 
ners unfolding in the breeze that came through the opened 
window, bewitched with the perfume of hanging gardens. 
Fountains rising up from inclosures of ivory in jets of crys- 
tal, to fall in clustering rain of diamonds and pearls. Stat- 
ues of mighty men looking down from niches in the wall 
upon crowns and shields brought from subdued empires. Idols 
of wonderful work standing on pedestals of precious stones. 
Embroideries drooping about the windows and wrapping pil- 
lars of cedar, and .drifting on floor inlaid with ivory and 
agate. Music, mingling with the thrum of harps, and the clash 
of cymbals, and the blast of trumpets in one wave of transport 
that went rippling along the wall and breathing among the 
garlands, and pouring down the corridors, and thrilling the 
souls of a thousand banqueters. The signal is given, and 
the lords ajdd ladies, the mighty men and women of the land ? 


coine arouud the table. Pour out the wine ! Let foam and 
bubble kiss the rim ! Hoist every one his cup and drink to 
the" sentiment; "0, King Belshazzar, live forever!" Be- 
starred headband and carcanet of royal beauty gleam to the 
uplifted chalices, as again and again and again they are 
emptied. Away with care from the palace. Tear royal dig- 
nity to tatters. Pour out more wine! Give us more light, 
wilder music, sweeter perfume! Lord shouts to lord, captain 
ogles to captain. Goblets clash, decanters rattle. There 
come in the obscene song and the drunken hiccough, and the 
slavering lip and the guffaw of idiotic laughter, bursting 
from the lips of princes, flushed, reeling, bloodshot; while 
mingling with it all I hear: "Huzza, huzza, for great Bjgl- 

What is that on the plastering of the wall? Is it a spirit? 
Is it a phantom? Is it God? The music stops. The gob- 
lets fall from the nerveless grasp. There is a thrill. There 
is a start. There is a thousand-voiced shriek of horror. Let 
Daniel be brought in to read that writing. He comes in. 
He reads it: " Weighed in the balances and found wanting." 
Meanwhile the Assyrians, who for two years had been laying 
a siege to that city, took advantage of that carousal and came 
in. I hear the feet of the conquerors on the palace stairs. 
Massacre rushes in with a thousand gleaming knives. Death 
bursts upon the scene; and I shut the door of that banquet- 
ing hall, for I do not want to look. There is nothing there 
but torn banners and broken wreaths, and the slush of upset 
tankards, and the blood of murdered women, and the kicked 
and tumbled carcase of a dead king. For "in that night 
was Belshazzar slain.." 

I learn, from reading the writing on the wall, that when 
God writes anything a man had better read it as it is. Daniel 
did not misinterpret or modify the handwriting on the wall. 
It is all foolishness to expect a minister of the gospel to 
preach always things that the people like or the people 


choose. Shall I tell you of the dignity of human nature? 
Shall I tell you of the wonders that our race has accom- 
plished? " Oh, no," you say, " tell me of the message that 
came from God." If there is any handwriting on the wall it 
is this lesson: " Eepent, accept of Christ and be saved." I 
might write of a great many other things, but that is the 
message, and so I declare it. Jesus never flattered those to 
whom he preached. He said to those who did wrong and 
who were offensive in his sight: " Ye generation of vipers! 
Ye whited sepulchers ! How can ye escape the damnation of 
hell?" Paul the Apostle preached before a man who was 
not ready to hear him preach. What subject did he take? 
Did he say: " Oh, you are a good man, a very fine man, a 
very noble man?" No; he preached of righteousness to a 
man who was unrighteous ; of temperance to a man who was 
the victim of bad appetites; of the judgment to come to a 
man who was unfit for it. So we must always declare the 
message that happens to come to us. Daniel must read it 
as it is. A minister preached before James I. of England, 
who was James VI. of Scotland. What subject did he take? 
The king was noted all over the world for being unsettled 
and wavering in his ideas. What did the minister preach 
about to this man who was James I. of England and James 
VI. of Scotland? He took for his text: "He that wavereth 
is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed." 
— James i., 6. Hugh Latimer offended the king by a ser- 
mon he preached, and the king said " Come and apologize." 
" I will," said Hugh Latimer. So the day was appointed, 
and the king's chapel was full of lords and dukes, and the 
mighty men and women of the country, for Hugh Lati- 
mer was to apologize. He began his sermon by saying: 
" Hugh Latimer, bethink thee! Thou art in the presence of 
thine earthly king, who can destroy thy body ! But bethink 
thee, Hugh Latimer, that thou art in the presence of the 
King of heaven and earth, who can destroy both body and 
soul in hell fire. king, cursed be thy crimes." 


There is a great difference between the opening of the 
banquet of sin and its close. Young man, if you had 
looked in upon the banquet in the first few hours you 
would have wished you had been invited there and could 
sit at the feast. "0, the grandeur of Belshazzar's feast," 
you would have said; but you look in at the close of the 
banquet and your blood curdles with horror. Tbe King 
of Terrors has there a ghastlier banquet; human blood is 
the wine and dying groans are the music. Sin has made 
itself a king in the earth. It has crowned itself. It has 
spread a banquet. It invites all the world to come to it. 
It has hung in its banqueting hall the spoils of all king- 
doms and the banners of all nations. It has gathered from 
all music. It has strewn from its wealth the table and floors 
and arches. And yet how often is that banquet broken up, 
and how horrible is its end! Ever and anon there is a 
handwriting on the wall. A king falls. A great culprit is 
arrested. The knees of wickedness knocked together. God's 
judgment, like an armed host, breaks in upon the banquet, 
and that night is Belshazzar, the King of the Chaldeans, 
slain. Here is a young man who says: " I can not see why 
they make such a fuss about the intoxicating cup. Why, it 
is exhilarating. It makes me feel well. I can talk better, 
think better, feel better. I cannot see why people have such 
a prejudice against it. " A filpv years pass on and he wakes 
up and finds himself in the clutches of an evil habit which 
he tries to break, but can not; and he cries out: " Lord 
God, help me! " It seems as though God would not hear 
his prayer, and in an agony of body and soul he cries out.: 
"It biteth like a serpent and it stingeth like an adder!" 
How bright it was at the start! how black it was at the 
last ! 

Here is a man who begins to read French novels. " They 
are so charming," he says: "I will go out and see for myself 
whether all these things are so." He opens the gate of a 


sinful life. He goes in. A sinful sprite meets him with 
her wand. She waves her wand and it is all enchantment. 
Why, it seems as if the angels of God had poured out 
phials of perfume in the atmosphere. As he walks on he 
finds the hills becoming more radiant with foliage, and the 
ravines more resonant with the falling water. what a charm- 
ing landscape he sees ! But that sinful sprite with her wand 
meets him again; but now she reverses the wand, and all the 
enchantment is gone. The cup is full of poison. The fruit 
turns to ashes. All the leaves of the bower are forked tongues 
of hissing serpents. The flowing fountains fall back in a dead 
pool, stenchful with corruption. The luring songs become 
curses and screams of demoniac laughter. Lost spirits gather 
about him, and feel for his heart, and beckon him on with : 
" Hail, brother! Hail, blasted spirit, hail! " He tries to 
get out. He comes to the front door, where he entered, and 
tries to push it back, but the door turns against him. Sin 
may open bright as the morning; it closes dark as the 

We learn further from this writing that death sometimes 
breaks in upon a banquet. Why did he not go down to the 
prison in Babylon? There were people there that would like 
to have died. I suppose there were men and women in tor- 
ture in that city who would have welcomed death. But he 
comes to the palace and just at the time when the mirth is 
dashing to the tip-top pitch death breaks in at the banquet. 
We have often seen the same thing illustrated. Here is a young 
man just come from college. He is kind. He is loving. He is 
enthusiastic. He is eloquent. By one spring he may bound 
to heights toward which many men have been struggling for 
years. A profession opens before him. He is established in 
the law. His friends cheer him. Eminent men encourage 
him. After awhile you may see him standing in the Ameri- 
can Senate, or moving a popular assemblage by his eloquence 
as trees are moved in a whirlwind. Some night he retires 


early. A fever is on hhn. Delirium like a reckless chari- 
oteer seizes the reins of his intellect. Father and mother 
stand by and see the tides of life going out to the great ocean. 
The banquet is coming to an end. The hghts of thought 
and mirth and eloquence are being extinguished. The gar- 
lands are snatched from the brow. The vision is gone. Death 
at the banquet. We saw the same thing on a larger scale il- 
lustrated at the last war in this country. Our whole nation 
had been sitting at a national banquet — North, South, East 
and West. What grain was there but we grew it on our 
hills ? What invention was there but our rivers must turn 
the new wheel and rattle the strange shuttle? What warm 
furs but our trades must bring them from the Arctic? What 
fish but our nets must sweep them for the markets? What 
music but it must sing in our halls? What eloquence but it 
must speak in our Senates? Ho! to the national banquet 
reaching from mountain to mountain and from sea to sea! 
To prepare that banquet the sheepfold and the aviaries of 
the country sent their best treasures. The orchards piled up 
on the table their sweetest fruits. The presses burst out with 
new wines. To sit at that table came the yoemanry of New 
Hampshire, and the lumbermen of Maine, and the tanned 
Carolinian from the rice swamps, and the harvesters of Wis- 
consin, and the Western emigrant from the pines of Oregon, 
and we were all brothers — brothers at a banquet. Suddenly 
the feast ended. What meant those mounds thrown up at 
Chickahominy,Shiloh, Atlanta, Gettysburg, South Mountain? 
What meant those golden grain fields turned into a pastur- 
ing ground for cavalry horses? What meant the corn fields 
gullied with the wheels of the heavy supply trains? Why 
tbose rivers of tears, those lakes of blood? God was angry. 
Justice must come. A handwriting on the wall! The na- 
tion has been weighed and found wanting. Darkness! Dark- 
ness ! Woe to the North ! Woe to the South ! Woe to the 
East! Woe to the West! Death at the banquet! 


We also learn that the destruction of the vicious and 
of those who despise God will be very sudden. The wave of 
mirth had dashed to the highest point when that Assyrian 
army broke through. It was unexpected. Suddenly, almost 
always, comes the doom of those who despise God and defy 
the laws of men. How was it at the Deluge? Do you sup- 
pose it came through a long northeast storm, so that people 
for days before were sure it was coming? No; I suppose the 
morning was bright; that calmness brooded on the waters; 
that beauty sat enthroned on the hills, when suddenly the 
heavens burst, and the mountains sank like anchors into the 
sea, that dashed clear over the Andes and the Himalayas. 
The Eed Sea was divided. The Egyptians tried to cross it. 
There could be no danger. The Israelites had just gone 
through. Where they had gone why not the Egyptians? 
Oh, it was such a beautiful walking-place! A pavement of 
tinged shells and pearls, and on either side two great walls 
of water — solid. There can be no danger. Forward, great 
host of the Egyptians! Clap the cymbals and blow the 
trumpets of victory ! After them ! We will catch them yet, 
and they shall be destroyed ! But the walls of solidified water 
begin to tremble. They rock! They fall! The rushing 
waters! The shriek of drowning men! The swimming of 
the war-horses in vain for the shore ! The strewing of the 
great host on the bottom of the sea, or pitched by the angry 
wave on the beach — a battered, bruised and loathsome wreck! 
Suddenly destruction came. One half hour before they could 
not have believed it. Destroyed and without remedy. I am 
just setting forth a fact when you have noticed as well as I. 
Ananias comes to the apostle. The apostle says : " Did you 
sell the land for so much?" He says: "Yes." It was a lie. 
Dead! As quick as a flash! Sapphira, his wife, comes in. 
"Did you sell the land for so much?" "Yes." It was a 
lie, and just as quick she was dead! God's judgments are 
upon those who despise and defy him. They come suddenly. 


The destroying angel went through Egypt. Do you suppose 
that any of the people knew that he was coming? Did they 
hear the flap of his great wing? No, no. Suddenly, unex- 
pectedly he came. Skilled sportsmen do not like to shoot a 
bird standing on a sprig near by. If they are skilled they 
pride themselves on taking it on the wing, and they will wait 
till it starts. Death is an old sportsman, and he loves to, 
take them on the wing. 

Are there any of my readers who are unprepared for the 
eternal world? Are there any who have been living without 
God and without hope? Let me say to you that you had better 
accept of the Lord Jesus Christ, lest suddenly your last chance 
be gone. The lungs will cease to breathe, the heart will stop. 
The time will come when you shall go no more to the office, or 
to the store, or to the shop. Nothing will be left but death, 
and judgment, and eternity. Oh, flee to God this hour! If 
there be one who has wandered far away from Christ, though 
he may not have heard tbe call of the gospel for many a year, 
I invite him now to come and be saved. Flee from thy sin ! 
Flee to the stronghold of the gospel ! I invite you to a 
grander banquet than any I have mentioned. My Lord, the 
King, is tbe banqueter. Angels are the cupbearers. All the 
redeemed are the guests. The halls of eternal love, frescoed 
with light and paved with joy, and curtained with unfading 
beauty, are the banqueting place. The harmonies of eternity 
are the music. The chalices of heaven are the plate; and I 
am one of the servants coming out with both hands filled with 
invitations, scattering them everywhere : and of that, for 
yourselves, you might break the seal of the invitation and 
read the words written in red ink of blood by the tremulous 
hand of a dying Christ: "Come now, for all things are 
ready." After this day has rolled by and the night has come 
may you have rosy sleep guarded by him who never slumbers. 
May you awake in the morning strong and well. But, oh, 
art thou a despiser of God? Is the coming night the last 


night on earth? Shouldst thou be awakened in the night by 
something, thou knowest not what, and there be shadows 
floating in the room, and a handwriting on the wall, and you 
feel that your last hour is come, and there be a fainting at 
the heart and a tremor in the limb, and a catching of the 
breath — then thy doom will be but an echo of the words : In 
that night was Belshazzar, the king of the Chaldeans, slain. 



We are at a point in reformatory movements in this 
country where it is proposed, to restrain or control or stop the 
traffic of ardent spirits by compelling the merchant thereof to 
pay a large sum, say five hundred dollars or one thousand dol- 
lars as a license. It is said that this will have a tendency to 
close up all the small drinkeries which curse our cities, and 
only a few men can afford to sell intoxicating drink. This 
money, raised by a high license, it is said, will help support 
the poorhouses, wher-e there are widows and orphans sent 
there by the dissipations of husbands and fathers. This 
high tax will help support the prisons in which men are in- 
carcerated for committing crimes while drunk. This high 
tax will help support the Court of Oyer and Terminer, whose 
judges, and attorneys, and constables, and juries, and police 
stations, and. court rooms find their chief employment in the 
arraignment, trial and condemnation of those who offend the 
law while in a state of insobriety. How any man or woman 
in favor of the great temperance reform can be so hood- 
winked as not to understand that this high license movement 
is the surrender of all the temperance reformation for which 
good men and women have been struggling for the last sixty 
years, is to me an amazement that eclipses everything. 

" High License is the Monopoly of Abomination." We 
must realize as by mathematical demonstration, that the 
one result of this high license movement, and the one 
result of the closing of small establishments— if that were 
the result — and the opening of a few large establishments, 


will be to make rum-selling and rum-drinking highly respec- 
table. These drinkeries in our own cities are so disgusting 
that a man will not risk his reputation by going in them; 
and if a young man should be found coming out from one of 
those low establishments he would lose his place in the store. 


Now, suppose all these small establishments are closed up 
and that then you open the palaces of inebriation down on 
the avenues. It is not the ^rookeries of alcoholism that do 
the woist work; they are only the last stopping-places on the 
road to death. Where did that bloated, ulcerous, wJieezing 
wretch that staggers out of a rum-hole get his habits started? 
At glittering restaurant or bar-room of first-class hotel, where 
it was fashionable to go. Ah ! my friends, it seems to me 



the disposition is to stop these small establishments, which 
are only the rash on the skin of the body politic, and 
then to gather all the .poison and the pus and the niattera- 
tion into a few great carbuncles which mean death. I say, 
give us the rash rather than the carbuncles. 

Here you will have a splendid liquor establishment. 
Masterpieces of painting on the wall. Cut glass on silver 
platter. Upholstery like a Turkish harem. Uniformed 
servants to open the door, uniformed servants to take your 
hat and cane. Adjoining rooms with luxuriant divan on 
which you can recline Avhen taken mysteriously ill after too 
much champagne, cognac, or.QkLOtard. AlHhej)hantajma- 
goria and bewitch£ry_^Qi--4u±-4h4^^ 
his j\Ioloeh of cons 

massacrey tms. xVioioc_ n_ or con sinneo—worsarppers, this Ju g- 
jejjiarft^-olCcjji^^ This high license movement 

strikes at the heart of the best homes in America ; it proposes 
the fattest lambs for its sacrifice; it is at war with the most 
beautiful domestic circles in America. Tell to all the philan- 
thropists who are trying to make the world better, and let 
journalists tell it by pen and by type that this day in the 
presence of my Maker and my Judge I stamp on this high-li- 
cense movement as the monopoly of abomination. It pro- 
poses to^pasB-with honor, to pillar with splendor, and guard Y 
with monopolistic advantage a business, which has made the ' \ 
ground hollow under England, Ireland, Scotland, and Amer- 
ica with the catacombs of slaughtered drunkards. 

I am opposed to this bigh license because it is anti- | 
American, anti-common sense, anti-demonstrated facts, and 1 
anti-Christian. Our revolutionary fathers wrote first with ' 
pen and then with sword, first in black ink and then in 
red ink, that all men are equal before the law. Impartiality 
written on the Declaration of Independence, on the Consti- 
tution of the United States, and over the door of our State 
and National capitols. Now, how then dare you propose for 
five hundred dollars or one thousand dollars to let one mail 


sell sweetened dynamite, while you deny to his fellow the 
right, because he cannot raise more than one hundred dollars 
or more than fifty dollars, or cannot raise anything? Are the 
small dealers in this festive liquid to have no rights? I plead 
for equal rights, the first American doctrine. I plead for the 
rights of those men who are doing a small, prudent, eco- 
nomical business in selling extract of logwood, strychnine, 
and blue_ vitriol^ What right have you to say~~T*Tlhese 
wealthy men standing beside their great conflagration of 
temptation, " Go ahead," while you deny the poor fellows in 
the traffic the right so much as to strike a lucifer match? 
Now, this high-license movement is property qualification in 
its most offensive shape. Why do you not carry it out in 
other things ? Why do you not stop all these bakers until 
the bakers can pay a one thousand dollar license? Why do 
you not shut up all the butchers' shops until the butchers 
can pay one thousand dollars or five hundred dollars? Why 
do you not stop these thread-and-needle stores and the 
small dry-goods establishments, except that a man pay five 
hundred dollars or one thousand dollars? " Oh," you say, 
" that is different. " How is it different? " Well," you say, 
" the sale of bread and meat and clothes does no damage, 
while the sale of whiskey does damage." Ah, my brother, 
you have surrendered the whole subject! If rum-selling is 
right, let all have the right, and if it is wrong, five hundred 
dollars or one thousand dollars are only a bribe to govern- 
ment to give a few men a privilege which it denies to the 
great masses of the people. Why do you not carry out this 
idea of licensing only those who can pay a large license? 
Give them all the privilege. 

So they propose to compromise this matter. ' They say a 
prohibitory law cannot be executed, and, therefore, we had 
better not have any such law on the statute book. Will you 
tell me, my friends, which one of our laws is fully executed? 
We have a law against Sabbath-breaking. Millions of people 


break that law every Sunday. We have laws against blas- 
phemy. Sometimes the air is lurid with imprecation. We 
have laws against theft, but you have highwaymen and 
burglars filling your jails and penitentiaries, and thousands 
of people outside of jail who ought to be inside. Now, why 
not throw overboard these laws, if they are not executed 
fully, and let us give for a high license to a few men all the 
privilege of swearing and stealing and murder? And the sin 
of murder. Why, your law against it is a failure. Murder 
on Long Island, murder in Illinois, murder in Pennsylvania, 
murder all over. It is almost impossible to convict one of 
the desperadoes. He proves an alibi right away, or he did it 
under emotional insanity. Court-house full of sympathizers, 
and when he is cleared the crowd follow him down the street 
thinking he ought to be sent to Congress! Your law against 
murder is a failure. Now we have got to stop these clumsy 
assassins who kill people with car-hooks, and Paris green, 
and dull knives, and having a high license, say $10,000 or 
$20,000, give to a few men the privilege of genteelly and 
skillfully and gracefully putting their victims out of their 
worldly misfortunes. You will never stop murder in this 
country until you put a high license upon it and let a few 
men do all the killing. But, my friends, all irony aside, you 
see that if rum selling is right we all ought to have the right, 
and if it is wrong, five million dollars paid down in hard 
cash for one license ought to purchase no immunity. High 
license is anti-common-sense. You know very well one 
business has no right to despoil other businesses. A manu- 
facturer went down South and established himself in Georgia. 
Somebody asked him why he built his establishment there. 
He said, " Because they voted to have no license here." That 
honest manufacturer knew what you and I ought to know, 
that the liquor traffic is in antagonism with every other 
business. If the million of dollars which go into that busi- 
ness went for lawful and healthful styles of business there 


would come to the agricultural and manufacturing and com- 


mercial interests of this country a boom of prosperity a 
hundred and fifty per cent, greater than we have had. 

Oh, that the working people of America understood that it 


is time for them by their votes to keep at home the driveling 
pot-house politicians in Albany and Harrisburg, who vote 
down prohibition. Do you not know that if you have $2 as 
wages now a day you would have $4; if you have $1000 
salary you would have $2000; if you have $10,000 income 
now you would have $20,000? The rum traffic puts its clutch 
this moment upon the neck of every merchant, mechanic, 
artist, and farmer in America. You pay for its destructive 
work by your honest sweat and by the deprivation of your 
households of many comforts. Oh, for an hour of the magnifi- 
cent courage of Iowa, whose Legislature sometime ago 
passed an out-and-out prohibition law, and whose governor 
had grace and greatness enough to sign it. Lead on, O 
Western State, in this glorious reform! Our own beloved 
New York State may be the last to fall into line, but come 
she will. After a few more thousands of our homes are 
despoiled by the rum traffic, after a few more thousand 
broken hearts, after a few more thousand of the noblest 
intellects of this age are sacrificed, after a few more years the 
distilleries shall have insulted the heavens with their uprolling 
stench, the tide will turn, and all good people rising up will 
lay hold of the strength of Almighty God and hurl into the 
perdition from which it smoked up this sweltering and putre- 
fying curse of nations. Yes, I have to tell you that this high- 
license movement is antagonized by all the demonstrated 
facts in the case. I am amazed to hear intelligent men of 
our county talk as though this were a new plan that we are 
to try just once. It is an old carcass. It first died in 
Missouri; then it died in Kansas, the second death, and it 
has been tried over and over, and over again, and has alway^ 
been a flat and disgusting failure. Men of America, hear 
that! It was tried in Iowa, a thousand-dollar license. A 
prominent paper of Iowa says : " Experiments being made with 
high license in Iowa as a temperance method are fast prov- 
ing what a cheat it is. Des Moines has tried a thousand- 


dollar license only to find it has increased the number of its 
saloons and the daily cases of drunkenness. Other cities in 
Iowa have tried it with similar result. High license tried 
again and again, and again, and yet here we, in the State of 
New York, are so stultifying ourselves as to propose that the 
farce be re-enacted. The hardest blow the temperance re- 
formation has had in this century has been in the fact that 
some reformers have halted under the delusion of this high- 
license movement. You know what it is. It is the white flag 
of truce sent out from Alcoholism to Prohibition to make the 
battle pause long enough to get the army of decanters and 
demijohns better organized. Away with that flag of truce, 
or I will fire on it. Between these two armies, there can be 
no truce. On the one side are God and sobriety and the best 
interests of the world, and on the other side is the sworn 
enemy of all righteousness, and either rum must be defeated 
or the Church of God and civilization. What are you trying 
to compromise with? Oh, this black destroying archangel 
of all diabolism, putting one wing to the Pacific, putting the 
other wing to the Atlantic coast, its filthy claws clutching 
into the torn and bleeding heart-strings of the nation as it 
cries out, "How long, Lord, how long?" Compromise 
with it ! You had better compromise with the panther in his 
jungle, with the cyclone in its flight, with an Egyptian plague 
as it blotches an empire, with Apollon, for whom this evil is 
recruiting officer, quarter-master, and commander-in-chief. 
Oh, my friends, let us fight this battle out on the old line, 
for victory is coming as surely as right is right, and wrong 
is wrong, and falsehood is false, and truth is truth, and 
God is God. Can it be that you are so deaf that you can- 
not hear in the distance the rumbling of the on-coming 
chariots of victory? Three hundred and twenty thousand 
votes in Ohio for prohibition. Kansas on the right side. 
Iowa on the right side. Alabama and Georgia on the right 


Fifteen legislatures of the United States lately discussing 
the temperance question. Two hundred and forty-six of the 
townships of Massachusetts out of two hundred and fifty-six 
proclaimed for no license. In all the State of Maine no one 
signboard out announcing the sale of strong drink, so that if 
in any place it is sold it is a pronounced crime. In our own 
monopoly-ridden New York Legislature a few weeks ago we 
came within three votes of having the choice of prohibition 
given to the people. The liquor traffic so panic-struck that 
it is at Washington trying to get the Constitution altered, so 
that prohibitory laws, if passed, as they will be passed all 
over the land, can be pronounced unconstitutional. Some 
time since the Congress of the United States demolishing the 
bonded whiskey bill by one hundred and eighty-six votes to 
eighty-three, although the liquor traffic had expended 
$700,000 to buy spectacles through which our rulers might 
see things in the right light. Oh, I tell the politicians of 
America, I tell the leaders of our beautiful Republican party 
and of our glorious Democracy that the temperance move- 
ment is going to hold the balance of the power in this 
country, and decide who shall be the Mayors, and the 
Governors, and the Congressmen, and the Presidents. I 
expect to live to see a President of the United States elected 
on a prohibition platform. Better get off the track before the 
morning express train comes down with the women's tempe- 
rance societies, and the Sons of Temperance, and the Good 
Samaritans, and the Good Templars, and the long train of V 
Christians and philanthopists and reformers. Clear the 
track ! The cow-catcher will be all piled up with smashed 
decanters, and the staves of beer-barrels, and the splinters of 
high-license platforms, and the rails with people who sat on / 
the fence, and all the machinations and briberies and outrages l 
of all Christendom. The time will come when there will be 
only ten decanters left, and they will be set up at the end of 
an alley like ten pins, and some reformer will take the round 




ball of prohibition and he will give one roll, but it will be a 
ten strike. My friends, this subject looked at from the side 
of worldly reform is so bright; but looked at from the side 
of Christian reform is absolutely certain. God is goiug to 
destroy drunkenness. Is there a man who doubts that God 
is stronger than the devil? 



Noah did the best and the worst thing for the world. He 
built an ark against the deluge of water, but introduced a 
deluge against which the human race has ever since been 
trying to build an ark — the deluge of drunkenness. In the 
opening chapters of the Bible we hear his staggering steps. 
Shem and Japhet tried to cover up the disgrace, but there he 
is, drunk on wine at a time in the history of the world when, 
to say the least, there was no lack of water. 

Inebriation having entered the world, has not retreated. 
Abigail, the fair and heroic wife who saved the flocks of 
Nabal, her husband, from confiscation by invaders, goes home 
at night and finds him so intoxicated she can not tell him 
the story of his narrow escape. Uriah came to see David, 
and David got him drunk, and paved the way for the despo- 
liation of a household. Even the church bishops needed to 
be charged to be sober and not given to too much wine; and 
so familiar were the people of Bible times with the staggering 
and falling motion of the inebriate, that Isaiah, when he 
comes to describe the final dislocation of worlds says: "The 
earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard. 

Ever since apples and grapes and wheat grew the world 
has been tempted to unhealthful stimulants. But the intoxi- 
cants of the olden time were an innocent beverage, a harmless 
orangeade, a quiet syrup, a peaceful soda water, as compared 
with the liquids of modern inebriation, into which a mad- 
ness; and a fury, and a gloom, and a fire, and a suicide, and 
a retribution have mixed and mingled. Fermentation was 



always known, but it was not until a thousand years after 
Christ that distillation was invented. 

While we must confess that some of the ancient arts 
have been lost, the Christian era is superior to all others in 
the bad eminence of whisky and rum and gin. The modern 
drunk is a hundred-fold worse than the ancient drunk. 
Noah in his intoxication became imbecile, but the victims of 
modern alcoholism have to struggle with whole menageries 
of wild beasts and jungles of hissing serpents and perditions 
of blaspheming demons. An arch-fiend arrived in our world, 
and he built an invisible cauldron of temptation. He built 
that cauldron strong and stout for all ages and all nations. 
First he squeezed into the cauldron the juices of the forbidden 
fruit of Paradise. Then he gathered for it a distillation 
from the harvest fields and the orchards of the hemispheres. 
Then he poured into this cauldron capsicum, and copperas, 
and logwood, and deadly nightshade, and assault and battery, 
and vitriol, and opium, and rum, and murder, and sulphuric 
acid, and theft, and potash, and cochineal, and red carrots, 
and poverty, and death, and hops. But it was a dry com- 
pound, and it must be moistened, and it must be liquefied, 
and so the arch-fiend poured into that cauldron the tears of 
centuries of orphanage and widowhood, and he poured in the 
blood of twenty thousand assassinations. And then the arch- 
fiend took a shovel that he had brought up from the furnaces 
beneath, and he put that shovel into this great cauldron and 
began to stir, and the cauldron began to heave, and rock, and 
boil, and sputter, and hiss, and smoke, and the nations 
gathered around it with cups and tankards and demijohns 
and kegs, and there was enough for all, and the arch-fiend 
cried: "Aha! champion fiend am I. Who has done more 
than I have for coffins and grave-yards and prisons and insane 
asylums, and the populating of the lost world? And when 
this cauldron is emptied, I'll fill it again, and I'll stir it 
again, and it will smoke again, and that smoke will join 



another smoke — the smoke of a torment that ascendeth for- 
ever and ever." 

*\" vVM' ' "«.««&"' *'''i "' 

, - ■ ... ,. ■■-■ 

.'.'.-.. . ! '.v.v . :,.--~ 

jy^^i-l?^ \ V '\ ,' '";. ''■'■:''.' 

;>'..;»■ .-• i ■■■ 

" ' ; "' ' JS& 



| ' : ' ' 

(/ V '* 

-." ','' ' 



; ■■)/■■"■■ '"^ 

t\ CTr V* 

1 , 

.:*'■■ •!'. .ViV'-/'; 


^W§. \ s \ 

*,v.( ; ^,t',v , -'. l '. '■■*' r v .i, -i v ? 


. '.'■ "*T V^^^-^vt 


'Hwiw- '^" i ; 


' , ,N 4A 

1 ' •„» 


< ;\ 



»'''"■! i-'i.-; '■■:!?•'■■ 


: .%,K : ^.V;t:| 



i -C-'^i-? 


. - ■ ■ - ^ 

> 4 


.'•-:' '/'-'■'.£ '..■■.'■'"SP 

■■■ ,? , 

Wm '" ' ' ' r' ■ ' 

i : ; S'^'y^JV*/ 

•■ ; '.'-' ; " ! .'-.. 


-' ' '•&, ■'• *«*» 

Mr •' V 

■': ■ • 4 


' ^W$i 


1 M 

; ' -.--J 


■ ■ . ; ( A 

... - . 


.,-' " "'v ' ■ 'J:.^* : 

if ' '■ " '■& W : r ; 


B3 , 

; ■ .;.,-.' .; ,1 [i .. : „- ■ 

', :.» ■!""'■.; ■ .:'# '". 


li!lii r ss§8 

'> ; " '■ :'• 


7 , f 

ft ^%life-OBsrS'fW* 



^■^!.;V : :i'v;,.;,^ 


r '■' , ''i '.'■"'?';"'■'■" ,' *.■■ ■ 

^^'r-" ' ' V'.'"', 5 " 

- : 9i 


■ ": i'i '■.■■''■ ■.-■.''■■ '.'■ ; ' : '' 

* " S3K ' 

rt ; - . i' . : 4;^i - : 

"^W* ' ''' 



■ ;:„-™;%l 

1 / M . ■ ■ 

,.*?W m, :. k 



\ i ^ 

WgJw y$M$*$$ 


J ,; '''" • :- ' ■ . 

. " ;; 



' A ' 

'»#,,-.-' '-: ■■■;-,?-■■ * v 

iijE^J-Ky '^^i^ 1 


P, ' . . '' ' '' ■ ,'. ; ' ■ -' ■ 

' , lt \ 

I-*:- ■;rK^,' : ; 



■ .. ' « ^ -, *f 

i';"- \' ■■- '■•'• '■-'.'»*' "'■ ■ ' 


72 1 

'•'•'•■ •: ; '-' * 

■ --A.' ■;■■■■.-*;* ■ ■ | 

o 1 

•"' ■'.'.-. -ii '>;>T^? 

!^.' , .'■-. . ■;''■",'.'..'.•»''■ ' ■■- 

•?"■'.. -'b ; 3 


: • -f* . ' . , 

llvv. ■".'•.''" ir^-'S ; ?.- 

t6,p .- - ' . ■'■ •"'« 


x * *,\ ; ". 

:';. : - ■ A '..:';, ,■-„.:. ' v-; ', : ,fl 

siJbS' ;.".':■' : i 


'■'■ ' ,' '' ' . *$ 





' ■ ' •' ■ ■'. .': 

' : ^l^ ^i-^^v''-'''' , '■■' ,' 

'■•'■;".'.. ^ 


■ '.-;' : - v ' : ,. ' . .'^r 

. ' ■ ;■ 


. ; .^:-'. 


>' , :' I .X" V ' ,:■;'; 




.-'■',..'■ ''■.■ * ■' J ^$if* 

° ■- '---■ ' >:•-: 



r 1 vj; J; ■ v ■■'-;■ ";'. } 

"•' ■ ■ '■ i ^^ 

.' ' '. : 



■■) '-\ '■■'.,■ - '.. 

'" ' '■':■"-. *'.' '• ^ ,'^p 

; ■ ■'■ ■' 


'■ , ^■i» 



SB, '■\ l 'eiJi8A\s)K , ii™ 

■■■ .-|||f|jy 


" I -drove fifty ships on the rocks of Newfoundland and 
the Skerries and the Goodwins. I defeated the Northern 


army at Eredricksburg. I have ruined more senators than 
will gather next winter in the national councils. I have 
ruined more lords than will be gathered in the House of 
Peers. The cup out of which I ordinarily drink is a bleached 
human skull, and the upholstery of my palace is so rich a 
crimson because it is dyed in human gore, and the mosaic of 
my floors is made up of the bones of children dashed to 
death by drunken parents, and my favorite music — sweeter 
than Te Deum or triumphal march — my favorite music 
is the cry of daughters turned out at midnight on the street 
because father has come home from the carousal, and the 
seven-hundred-voiced shriek of the sinking steamer because 
tbe captain was not himself when he put the ship on the 
wrong course. Champion fiend am I ! I have kindled more 
fires, I have wrung out more agonies, I have stretched out 
more midnight shadows, I have opened more Golgothas, I 
have rolled more juggernauts, I have damned more souls 
than any other emissary of diabolism." 

Drunkenness is the greatest evil of this nation, and it 
takes no logical process to prove that a drunken nation can- 
not long be a free nation. I call your attention to the fact 
that drunkenness is not subsiding, certainly that it is not at 
a standstill, but that it is on an onward march, and it is a 
double quick. Where there was one drunken home there 
are ten drunken homes. Where there was one drunkard's 
grave there are twenty drunkards' graves. According to the 
United States Government figures, in 1840 there were 23,- 
000,000 gallons of beer sold. Last year there were 551,- 
000,000 gallons. According to the governmental figures, in 
the year 1840 there were 5,000,000 gallons of wine sold. 
Last year there were 25,000,000 gallons of wine. It is on 
the increase. Talk about crooked whisky — by which men 
mean the whisky that does not pay the tax to government — 
I tell you all strong drink is crooked. Crooked otard, crook- 
ed cognac, crooked schnapps, crooked beer, crooked wine, 


crooked whisky, because it makes a man's path crooked, and 
his life crooked, and his death crooked, and his eternity 

If I could gather all the armies of the dead drunkards 
and have them come to resurrection, and then add to that 
host all the armies of living drunkards, five and ten abreast, 
and then if I could have you mount a horse and ride along 
that line for review, you would ride that horse until he 
dropped from exhaustion, and you would mount another 
horse and ride until he fell from exhaustion, and you would 
take another and another, and you would ride along hour 
after hour, and day after day. Great host, in regiments, in 
brigades. Great armies of them. And then if you had 
voice enough stentorian to make them all hear, and you 
could give the command, " Forward, march ! " their first 
tramp would make the earth tremble. I do not care which 
way you look in the community to-day, the evil is increasing. 

I call your attention to the fact that there are thousands 
of people born with a thirst for strong drink — a fact too of- 
ten ignored. Along some ancestral lines there runs the riv- 
er of temptation. There are children whose swaddling 
clothes are torn off the shroud of death. Many a father has 
made a will of this sort : " In the name of God, amen. I 
bequeath to my children my houses and lands and estates, 
share and share shall they alike. Hereto I affix my hand 
and seal in the presence of witnesses. " And yet, perhaps 
that very man has made another will that the people have 
never read, and that has not been proved in the courts. 
That will, if put in writing, woixld read something like this: 
" In the name of disease and appetite and death, amen. I 
bequeath to my children my evil habits, my tankards shall 
be theirs, my wine-cup shall be theirs, my destroyed reputa- 
tion shall be theirs. Share and share alike shall they in 
the infamy. Hereto I affix my hand and seal in the pres* 
ence of all the applauding harpies of hell. " 


From the multitude of those who have the evil habit 
born within them, this army is being augmented. And I 
am sorry to say that a great many of the drug-stores are 
abetting this evil, and alcohol is sold under the name of bit- 
ters. It is bitters for this, and bitters for that, and bitters 
for some other thing; and good men deceived, not knowing 
there is any thraldom of alcoholism coming from that source, 
are going down, and some day a man sits with the bottle of 
black bitters on his table, and the cork flies out, and after it 
flies a fiend, and clutches the man by his throat, and says : 
"Aha! I have been after you for ten years. I have got you 
now. Down with you, down with you!" Bitters? Ah! 
yes. They make a man's family bitter, and his home bit- 
ter, and his disposition bitter, and his death bitter, and his 
hell bitter. Bitters : A vast army all the time increasing. 
And let me also say that it is as thoroughly organized as any 
army, with commander-in-chief, staff- officers, infantry, cav- 
alry, batteries, sutler-ships, and flaming ensigns, and tiiat 
every candidate for office in America will yet have to pro- 
nounce himself the friend or foe of the liquor traffic. 

I have in my possession the circular of a brewers' associ- 
ation — a circular sent to all candidates for office — a form to 
be filled up, saying whether the candidate is a friend of 
the liquor traffic, or its enemy; and if he is an enemy of the 
business then the man is doomed; or if he declines to fill up 
the circular and send it back, his silence is taken as a nega- 
tive answer. 

It seems to me it is about time for the seventeen million 
professors of religion in America to take sides. It is going 
to be an out-and-out battle between drunkenness and sobri- 
ety, between heaven and hell, between God and the devil. 
Take sides before there is any further national decadence; 
take sides before your sons are sacrificed, and the new 
home of your daughter goes down under the alcoholism of 
an embruted husband. Take sides while your voice, your 


pen, your prayer, your vote, may have some influence in 
arresting the despoliation of this nation. If the seventeen 
million professors of religion should take sides on the sub- 
ject, it would not be very long before the destiny of this na- 
tion would be decided in the right direction. 

Is it a State evil? or is it a national evil? Does it belong 
to the Nortb? or does it belong to the South? Does it belong 
to the East? or does it belong to the West? Ah! there is 
not an American river into which its tears have not fallen, 
and into which its suicides have not plunged. What ruined 
that Southern plantation? every field a fortune, the proprietor 
and his family once the most affluent supporters of summer 
watering-places. What threw that New England farm into 
decay and turned the roseate cheeks that bloomed at the foot 
of the Green Mountains into the pallor of despair? What 
has smitten every street of every village, town, and city of 
this continent with a moral pestilence? Intemperance 

To prove that this is a national evil, I call up tbree States 
in opposite directions— Maine, Iowa, and Georgia. Let them 
testify in regard to this. State of Maine says: "It is so 
great an evil up here we have anathematized it as a State. " 
State of Iowa says: "It is so great an evil out here we have 
prohibited it by constitutional amendment." State of Georgia 
says: "It is so great an evil down here that ninety counties 
of this State have made the sale of intoxicating drink a 
criminality." So the word comes up from all sources, and it 
is going to be a Waterloo, and I want you to know on what 
side I am going to be when that Waterloo is fully come, and 
I want you to be on the right side. Either drunkenness will 
be destroyed in this country, or the American Government 
will be destroyed. Drunkenness and free institutions are 
coming into a death grapple. 

Oh, how many are waiting to see if something can not be 
done ! Thousands of drunkards waiting who cannot go ten 
minutes in any direction without having the temptation 


glaring before their eyes or appealing to their nostrils, they 
fighting against it with enfeebled will and diseased appetite, 
conquering, then surrendering, conquering again and sur- 
rendering again, and crying: "How long, Lord, how long 
before these infamous solicitations shall be gone?" 

And how many mothers there are waiting to see if this 
national curse cannot lift! Oh, is that the boy that had the 
honest breath who comes home with breath vitiated or dis- 
guised? What a change! How quickly those habits of early 
coming home have been exchanged for the rattling of the 
night-key in the door long after the last watchman has gone 
by and tried to see that everything was closed up for the 
night! Oh, what a change for that young man who we had 
hope would do something in merchandise, or in artisanship, 
or in a profession, that would do honor to the family name 
long after mother's wrinkled hands are folded from the List 
toil! All that exchanged for startled look when the door-bell 
rings, lest something has happened. And the wish that the 
scarlet fever twenty years ago had been fatal, for then he 
would have gone directly to the bosom of his Saviour. But 
alas ! poor old soul , she has lived to experience what Solomon 
said: "A foolish son is a heaviness to his mother." 

Oh, what a funeral it will be when that boy is brought 
home dead! And how mother will sit there and say: "Is 
this my boy that I used to fondle, and that I walked the floor 
with in the night when he was sick? Is this the boy that I 
held to the baptismal font for baptism? Is this the boy for 
whom I toiled until the blood burst from the tips of my fin- 
gers that he might have a good start and a good home? 
Lord, why hast Thou let me live to see this? Can it be that 
these swollen hands are the ones that used to wander over 
my face when rocking him to sleep? Can it be that this is 
the swollen brow that I once so rapturously kissed? Poor 
boy! how tired he does look. I wonder who struck him that 
blow across the temples! I wonder if he uttered a dying 



prayer! Wake up, my son; don't you hear rne? wake up! 
Ob, he can't hear me! Dead, dead, dead! 'Oh, Absalom, 
my son, my son, would God that I had died for thee, oh, 
Absalom, my son, my son! ' " 

I am not much of a mathematician, and I cannot estimate 
it: but is there any one quick enough at figures to estimate 
iiow many mothers there are waiting for something to be 


done? Aye, there are many wives waiting for domestic- 
rescue. He promised something different from that when, 
after the long acquaintance and the careful scrutiny of 
character, the hand and the heart were offered and accepted. 
What a hell on earth a woman lives in who has a drunken 
husband ! 

O Death, how lovely thou art to her, and how soft and 
warm thy skeleton hand! The sepulcher at midnight in 
winter is a king's drawing-room compared with that woman's 
home. It is not so much the blow on the head that hurts, as 
the blow on tbe heart. The rum fiend came to the door of 
that beautiful home and opened the door and stood there, 
and said: "I curse this dwelling with an unrelenting curse. 
I curse that father into a maniac, I curse that mother into a 
pauper. I curse those sons into vagabonds. I curse those 
daughters into profligacy. Cursed be bread-tray and cradle. 
Cursed be couch and chair and family Bible with record of 
marriages and births and deaths. Curse upon curse." Oh, 
how many wives are there waiting to see if something cannot 
be done to shake these frosts of the second death off the 
orange blossoms ! Yea, God is waiting, the God who works 
through human instrumentalities, waiting to see whether this 
nation is going to overthrow this evil ; and if it refuse to do 
so God will wipe out the nation as He did Phoenicia, as He 
did Eome, as He did Thebes, as He did Babylon. Aye, He 
is waiting to see what the church of God will do. If the 
church does not do its work, then He will wipe it out as He 
did the church of Ephesus, church of Thyatira, church of 
Sardis. The Protestant and Eoman Catholic churches to-day 
stand side by side with an impotent look, gazing on this 
evil, which costs this country more than a billion dollars a 
year to take care of the 800,000 paupers, and the 315,000 
criminals, and the 30,000 idiots, and to bury the 75,000 

Protagoras boasted that out of the sixty years of his life 


forty years he had spent in ruining youth ; but intemperance 
may make the more infamous boast that all its life it has 
been ruining the bodies, minds, and souls of the human race. 

Put on your spectacles and take a candle and examine the 
platforms of the two leading political parties of this country, 
and see what they are doing for the arrest of this evil, and 
for the overthrow of this abomination. Resolutions — oh yes, 
resolutions about Mormonism! It is safe to attack that 
organized nastiness 2,000 miles away. But not one resolu- 
tion against drunkenness, which would turn this entire nation 
into one bestial Salt Lake City. Resolutions against political 
corruption, but not one word about drunkenness, which 
would rot this nation from scalp to heel. Resolutions about 
protection, against competition with foreign industries, bat 
not one word about protection of family and church and 
nation against the scalding, blasting, all-consuming, damning 
tariff of strong drink put upon every financial, individual, 
spiritual, moral, national interest. The Democratic party — 
in power for the most of the time for forty years — what did 
that national party do for the extirpation of this evil? 
Nothing, absolutely nothing, appallingly nothing. The Re- 
publican party — in power for about a quarter of a century — 
what has it done as a national party to extirpate this evil? 
Nothing, absolutely nothing, appallingly nothing. I look in 
another direction. 

The Church of God is the grandest and most glorious 
institution on earth. "What has it in solid phalanx accom- 
plished for the overthrow of drunkenness? Have its forces 
ever been marshaled? No, not in tins direction. The church 
holds the balance of power in America; and if Christian 
people — the men and the women who profess to love the 
Lord Jesus Christ, and to love purity, and to be the sworn 
enemies of all uncleanness and debauchery and sin — if all 
such would march side by side and shoulder to shoulder, this 
evil would soon be overthrown. Think of 300,000 churches 


and Sunday- shools in Christendom, "marching shoulder to 
shoulder ! How very short a time it would take them to put 
down this evil, if all the churches of God — trans-Atlantic and 
cis- Atlantic — were armed on this subject! 

Young men of America, pass over into the army of 
teetotalism. Whisky, good to preserve corpses, ought never 
to turn you into a corpse. Tens of thousands of young men 
have been dragged out of respectability, and out of purity, 
and out of good character, and into darkness, by this infernal 
stuff called strong drink. Do not touch it ! Do not touch it ! 



There have been in the world hundreds of political parties. 
They did their work. They lost their prestige. They expired. 
Their names are forgotten. Enough for rne to declare what 
I believe God and civilization demand of the two political 
parties of this day, or their extermination. God and civiliza- 
tion demand of the political parties of this day a plank anti- 
Mormonistic. It is high time that the nation stopped playing 
with this cancer. All the plasters of political quacks only 
aggravate it, and nothing but the surgery of the sword will 
cure it. All the congressional laws on this subject have been 
notorious failures. Meanwhile the great monster sits be- 
tween the two mountains — the Eocky Mountains and the 
Sierra Nevadas — sits in defiance and mockery, sometimes 
holding its sides with uncontrollable mirth at our national 
impotency. Shipload after shipload of Mormons are re- 
gurgitated at your Castle Garden, and hundreds and thou- 
sands of them are being sent on to the great moral lazaretto 
of the West. Others are on the way, and the Atlantic is 
heaving toward us the great surges of foreign libertinism. This 
moment the emissaries of that organized lust are busy in 
Norway and Sweden and England and Ireland and Scotland 
and Germany, breaking up homes, and with infernal cords 
drawing the population this way, a population which will be 
dumped as carrion on the American territories. American 
crime, with its long rake stretched across other continents, 
is heaping up on this land great winnows of abomination. 
Worse and worse. Four hundred Mormons coming into our 

8 (113) 


port in one day, six hundred in another day, eight hundred 
in another day. 

Are we so cowardly and selfish in this generation that we 
are going to bequeath to the following generations this great 
evil? Letting it go on until our children come to the front 
and we are safely entrenched under the mound of our own 
sepulchers, leaving our children through all their active life 
to wonder why we postponed this evil for their extirpation 
when we might have destroyed it with a hundred-fold less 
exposure. What a legacy for this generation to leave the 
following generation! A vast acreage of sweltering putre- 
faction, of lowest beastliness, of suffocating stench, all the 
time becoming more and more mal-odorous and rotten and 
damnable. We want some great political party in some 
strong and unmistakable plank to declare that it will extirpate 
heroically and immediately this great harem of the American 
continent. We want some President of the United States to 
come in on such an anti-Mormornistic platform, and in his 
opening message to Congress ask for an appropriation for 
military expedition, and then put Phil Sheridan in his light- 
ning stirrups, heading his horse westward, and in one year 
Mormonism will be extirpated and national decency vin- 
dicated. Compelling Mormonistic chiefs to take oath of 
allegiance will not do it, for they have declared in open 
assembly that perjury in their cause is commendable. Keli- 
gious tracts on purity amount to nothing. They will not read 
them. Anything shorter than bayonets and anything softer 
than bullets will never do that work. 

Every day you open a paper and you see in the State of 
New York some bigamist arrested and punished. What you 
prohibit on a small scale for a State you allow on a large 
scale for a nation. Bigamy must be put down. Polygamy 
must go free. What has been the effect, my friends? It has 
demoralized this whole nation. That carbuncle on the back 
of the nation has sickened all the nerves, and muscles, and 



arteries and veins, and limbs of the body politic. I account in 
that way for many of the loose ideas abroad on all sides on the 
subject of the marriage relation. Divorce by the wholesale. 
Concubinage in 
high circles. Lib- 
ertinism, if gloved 
and patent leath- 
ered, admitted in- 
to high circles. 
The malaria of 
Salt Lake City 
has smitten the 
nation with moral 
typhoid. The bad 
influence has well- 
nigh spiked that 
gun of Sinai which 
needs to thunder 
over the New En- 
gland hills, over 
the savannas of 
the South and over the Eocky Mountains and the Sierra 
Nevadas clear to the Pacific coast, " Thou shalt not com- 
mit adultery !" Advertisements in newspapers saying, 
" Divorce legally and quietly effected. Can pay in install- 
ments ! " Some of the New York lawyers giving their entire 
time to domestic separations — suborning witnesses, giving 
advice as to how many months it is necessary to be out of 
the city, inducing suspicious complications, sending detective 
sleuth hounds on tbe track of good citizens, until the honest 
lawyers of these cities were compelled a little while ago to 
make outcry against the bemeaning of their honorable pro- 
fession. Looser and looser ideas on the subject of marriage, 
until sometimes the question of divorce is taken into con- 
sideration in the wedding solemnities, and people promise 



fidelity till death do them part, arid say afterward softly, 
"perhaps," or "may be," "I rather think so." All over 
this land more and more marriage in fun. 

We do not want divorce made more easy in this country; 
we want it made more hard, so that people will be more 
cautious in their affiancing, and you will understand that if 
you marry a brute of a husband or a fool of a wife, you will 
have to stand it. Ah ! my friends, there will be no toning 
\up on this subject, there will be no moral health in the 
United States on the subject of the marriage relation until 
this nation shall slough off this Mormornistic ulcer, and burn 
out with caustic of gunpowder this wound which has been so 
long feculent and ichorous and dreathful. If you are under 
the delusion that by mild laws passed against Mormonism 
the evil will be extirpated, you are making an awful mistake. 
The sooner you get over it the better. God and civiliza- 
tion demand of both political parties now a plank anti- 

Again, there is demanded of the political parties in this 
day, a plank of intelligent helpfullness for the great foreign 
population which have come among us. It is too late now 
to discuss whether we had better let them come. They are 
here. They are coming this moment through Narrows, they 
are coming this moment through the gates of Castle Garden, 
they are this moment taking the first full inhalation of the 
free air of America, and they will continue to come as long 
as this country is the best place to live in. You might as well 
pass a law prohibiting summer bees from alighting on a field 
of blossoming buckwheat, you might as well prohibit the 
stags of the mountains from coming down to the deer lick, 
as to prohibit the hunger-bitten nations of Europe from 
coming to this land of bread, as to prohibit the people of 
England, Ireland, Scotland, Norway, Sweden, and Germany, 
working themselves to death on small wages on the other 
side the sea, from coming to this land, where there are the 



largest compensations under the sun. Why did God spread 
out the prairies of Dakota, and roll the precious ore into 
Colorado? It was that all the earth might come and plow, 
and come and dig. Just as long as the centrifugal force of 
foreign despotisms throw them off, just so long will the 
centripetal force of American institutions draw them here. 

Andthat is what is going to make this the mightiest 
nation of the earth. Intermarriage of nationalities. Not 
circle intermarrying circle, and nation intermarrying nation, 
but is going to be Italian and Norwegian, Eussian and 


Celt, Scotch and French, English and American. The 
American of a hundred years from now is to be different 
from the American of to-day. German brain, Irish wit, 
French civility, Scotch firmness, English loyalty, Italian 
aesthetics packed into one man, and he an American. It is 
this intermarriage of nationalities that is going to make the 
American race the mightiest race of the ages. Now, I say, 
in God's name let them come. 

But what are we doing for the moral and intellectual 
culture of the half million of foreigners who came in one 


year, and the six hundred thousand who came in another 
year, and the eight hundred thousand who came in another 
year, and the million who came into our various American 
ports. What are we doing for them? Well, we are doing 
a great deal for them. We steal their baggage as soon as 
they get ashore! We send them up to a boarding-house 
where the least they lose is their money. We swindle them 
within ten minutes after they get ashore. We are doing a 
great deal for them ! But what are we doing to introduce them 
into the duties of good citizenship? Many of them never 
saw a ballot-box, many of them never heard of the Com 
stitution of the United States, many of them have no 
acquaintance with our laws. Now, I say, let the Govern- 
ment of the United States, so commanded by some political 
party, give to every immigrant who lands here a volume in 
good type and well bound for long usage — a volume contain- 
ing the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the 
United States, and a chapter on the spirit of our Govern- 
ment. Let there be such a book on every shelf of every free 
library in America. While the American Bible Society puts 
into the right hand of every immigrant a copy of the Holy 
Scriptures, let the Government of the United States, so coir- 
manded by some political party, put into the left hand of 
every immigrant a volume instructing him in the duties of 
good citizenship. There are thousands of foreigners in this 
land who need to learn that the ballot-box is not a footstool 
but a throne; not something to put your foot on, but some- 
thing to bow before. 

Again, it is demanded of the political parties of this day 
that they have a plank that shall acknowledge God. Let 
there be no favoring of "sects. Let Trinitarian and Unitarian, 
Jew and Gentile, Protestant and Boman Catholic, be alike 
in the sight of the law — every man free to worship in his 
own way— but let no political party think it can do its duty, 
unless it acknowledges that God, who built this continent, and 



revealed it at the right time to the discoverer, and who has 
reared a prosperity which has been given to no other people. 
" Oh," says some one, " there are people in this country who 
do not believe in a God, and it would be an insult to them." 
Well, there are people in this country who do not believe in 
common decency, or common honesty, or any kind of govern- 
ment, preferring anarchy. Your every platform is an insult 
to them. You ought not to regard a man who does not be- 


lieve in (rod any more than you should regard a man who 
refuses to believe in common decency. Your pocketbook is 
not safe a moment iu the presence of an atheist! God is the 
only source of good government. Why not, then, say so, 
and let the chairman of the committee on resolutions in your 
national conventi n take a pen full of ink, and with bold 
hand head the document with one significant, " Whereas," 
acknowledging the goodness of God in the past, and begging 
His kindrfcss and protection for the future. 


For the lack of recognition of God in your political plat- 
forms they amount to nothing. They both make loud 
declaration about civil service reform, and it has been a 
failure. If you can take now in your cool moments the 
declaration made by the Democratic party in Cincinnati in 
1880, and the declaration made by the Kepublican party in 
Chicago in 1880, and read those two declarations on the sub- 
ject of civil service reform, and then think of what has 
transpired, and control your mirth, you have more self-con- 
trol than I have. My child asks me what is civil service 
reform, and I tell him, as near as I can understand, it is that 
when the Kepublican party get the government of a State 
they are to turn out the Democrats, and when the Democrats 
get the supremacy in the State they are to turn out the 

Your platforms cry out for reform, and promise reform, 
if they are only kept in power, or may obtain power. How 
much do they mean by reform? See what the Eepublican 
party did in 1876 in Louisiana and what the Democratic 
party did three or four years after in the gubernatorial election 
in Maine ! Credit Mobilier of eleven years ago, Eiver and 
Harbor Bill, by which the tax-payers of the United States 
were swindled out of fifty millions of dollars — in both 
infamies the two parties shoulder to shoulder, and side to 
side. What you want is more of God in your pronuncia- 
mentoes. Without Him reform is retrogression, and gain is 
loss, and victory is defeat. 

This country belongs to God, and we ought in every possi- 
ble way to acknowledge it. From the moment that, on an 
October morning, in 1492, Columbus looked over the side of 
the ship, and saw the carved staff which made him think he 
was near an inhabited country, and saw also a thorn and a 
cluster of berries— type of our history ever since, the piercing 
sorrows and the cluster of national joys — until this hour, our 
country has been bounded on the north and south and east 


and west by the goodness of God. The Huguenots took 
possession of the Carolinas in the name of God; William 
Penn settled Philadelphia in the name of God ; the Holland- 
ers took possession of New York in the name of God; the 
Pilgrim Fathers settled New England in the name of God. 
Preceding the first gun of Bunker Hill, at the voice of prayer 
all heads uncovered. In the war of 1812 an officer came to 
General Andrew Jackson and said: "There is an unusual 
noise in the camp; it ought to be stopped." General Jackson 
said: "What is the noise?" The officer said: "It is the 
voices of prayer and praise. " And the General said : " God 
forbid that prayer and praise should be an unusual noise in 
the encampment; you had better go and join them." Prayer 
at Valley Forge, prayer at Monmouth, prayer at Atlanta, 
prayer at South Mountain, prayer at Gettysburg. 

"Oh," says some infidel, "the Northern people prayed on 
one side, and the Southern people prayed on the other side, 
and so it didn't amount to anything." And I have heard 
good Christian people confounded with the infidel statement, 
when it is as plain to me as my right hand. Yes, the North- 
ern people prayed in one way, and the Southern people 
prayed in another way, and God answered in His own way, 
giving to the North the re-establishment of the Government, 
and giving to the South larger opportunities, larger than she 
had ever anticipated, the harnessing of her rivers in great 
manufacturing interests, until the Mobile, and the Talla- 
poosa, and the Chattahoochee, are Southern Merrimacs, and 
the unrolling of great mines of coal and iron, of which the 
world knew nothing, and opening before her opportunities of 
wealth which will give ninety-nine per cent, more of affluence 
than she ever possessed. And, instead of the black hands of 
American slaves emancipated, there are the more industrious 
and black hands of the coal and iron industries of the South 
which will achieve for her fabulous and unhnagined wealth. 

: And there are domes of white blossoms where spread the white 


And there are ploughs in the track where the war wagons went 
And there are song swhere they lifted tip Rachel's lament." 

Oh, you are a stupid man if you do not understand how 
God answered Abraham Lincoln's prayer in the White House, 
and Stonewall Jackson's prayer in the saddle, and answered 
all the prayers of all the cathedrals on both sides of Mason 
and Dixon's Line. God's country all the way past. God's 
country now. 

Put His name in your pronunciamentoes, put His name 
on your ensigns, put His name on your city and State and 
national enterprises, put His name in your hearts. To most 
of us this country was the cradle, and to most of us it will 
be the grave. We want the same glorious privileges which 
we enjoy to go down to our children. We can not sleep well 
the last sleep, nor will the pillow of dust be easy to our heads 
until we are assured that the God of our American institu- 
tions in the past, will be the God of our American institutions 
in the days that are to come. Oh, when all the rivers which 
empty into the Atlantic and Pacific seas shall pull on factory 
bands, when all the great mines of gold, and silver, and iron, 
and coal shall be laid bare for the nation, when the last 
swamp shall be reclaimed, and the last jungle cleared, and 
the last American desert Edenized, and from sea to sea the 
continent shall be occupied by more than twelve hundred mill- 
ion souls, may it be found that moral and religious influences 
were multiplied in more rapid ratio than the population. 
And then there shall be four doxologies coming from north, 
and south, and east, and west — four doxologies rolling toward 
each other and meeting mid-continent with such dash of holy 
joy that they shall mount to the throne. 

" And Heaven's high arch resound again 
With ' peace on earth, good will to men.' " 




That there are hundreds and thousands of infelicitous 
homes in America, no one will doubt. If there were only 
one skeleton in the closet, that might be locked up and aban- 
doned ; but in many a home there is a skeleton in the hall- 
way and a skeleton in all the apartments. " Unhappily 
married " are two words descriptive of many a homestead. 
It needs no orthodox minister to prove to a badly mated 
pair that there is a hell; they are there now. 

Some say that for the alleviation of all tbese domestic 
disorders of which we hear, easy divorce is a good prescrip- 
tion. God sometimes authorizes divorce as certainly as He 
authorizes marriage. I have just as much regard for one 
lawfully divorced as I have for one lawfully married. But 
you know, and I know, that wholesale divorce is one of our 
national scourges. I am not surprised at this when I think 
of the influences which have been abroad militating against 
the marriage relation. For many years the platforms of the 
country rang with talk about a free love millennium. There 
were meetings of this kind held in the Academy of Music, 
Brooklyn; Cooper Institute, New York; Tremont Temple, 
Boston, and all over the land. - Some of the women who 
were most prominent in that movement have since been dis- 
tinguished for great promiscuosity of affection. Popular 
themes for such occasions were the tyranny of man, the op- 
pression of the marriage relation, women's rights, and the 
affinities. Prominent speakers were women with short curls, 
short dress, and very long tongues, everlastingly at war 



with God because they were created women; while on the 
platform sat meek men with soft accent, and cowed demean- 
or, apologetic for masculinity, and holding the parasols 
while the termagant orators went on preaching the gospel of 
free love. 

That campaign of about twenty years set more devils in- 
to the marriage relation than will be exorcised in the next 
fifty. Men and women went home from such meetings so 
permanently confused as to who were their wives and hus- 
bands, that they never got out of their perplexity, and the 
criminal and the civil courts tried to disentangle the Iliad of 
woes, and this one got alimony, and that one got a limited 
divorce, and this mother kept the children on condition that 
the father could sometimes come and look at them, and these 
went into the poor-houses, and those went into an insane asy- 
lum, and those went into dissolute public life, and all went 
to destruction. The mightiest war ever made against the 
marriage institution was that free love campaign, sometimes 
under one name, and sometimes under another. 

Another influence that has warred upon the marriage re- 
lation has been polygamy in Utah. That is a stereotyped 
caricature of the marriage relation, and has poisoned the 
whole land. You might as well think that you can have an 
arm in a state of mortification and yet the whole body not be 
sickened, as to have those Territories polygamized and yet 
the body of the nation not feel the putrefaction. Hear it, 
good men and women of America, that so long ago as 1862, 
a law was passed by Congress forbidding polyamy in the 
Territories and in all the places where they had jurisdiction. 
Armed with all the power of government, and having an 
army at their disposal, and yet the first brick has not been 
knocked from that fortress of libertinism. 

Every new President in his inaugural has tickled that 
monster with the straw of condemnation, and every Congress 
has stultified itself in proposing some plan that would not 



work. Polygamy stands in Utah and in other of the Terri- 
tories to-day more entrenched, and more brazen, and more 
puissant, and more braggart, and more infernal, than at any 
time in its history. James Buchanan, a much-abused man 
of his day, did more for the extirpation of this villainy than 
all the subsequent administrations have dared to do. Mr 
Buchanan sent out an army, and although it was halted in 
ts work, still he accomplished more than the subsequent, ad- 
ministrations, which have done nothing but talk, talk, talk. 


Polygamy in Utah has warred against the marriage relation 
throughout the land. It is impossible to have such an awful 
sewer of iniquity sending up its miasma, which is wafted by 
the winds north, south, east and west, without the whole 
land being affected by it. 

Another influence that has warred against the marriage 
relation in this country has been a pustulous literature, with 
its millions of sheets every week choked with stories of 


domestic wrongs, and infidelities, and massacres and outrages, 
until it is a wonder to me that there are any decencies or any 
common sense left on the subject of marriage. One-half of 
the news-stands of all our cities reeking with the filth. 
"Now," say some, " we admit all these evils, and the only 
way to clear them out or correct them is by easy divorce." 
Well, before we yield to that cry, let us find out how easy it 
is now. 

I have looked over the laws of all the States, and I find 
that while in some States it is easier than in others, in every 
State it is easy. The State of Illinois through its Legisla- 
ture recites a long list of proper causes for divorce, and then 
closes up by giving to the courts the right to make a decree 
of divorce in any case where they deem it expedient. After 
that you are not surprised at the announcement that in one 
county in the State of Illinois, in one year, there were eight 
hundred and thirty-three divorces. If you want to know 
how easy it is you have only to look over the records of the 
States. In Massachusetts six hundred divorces in one year; 
in Maine four hundred and seventy-eight in one year; in 
Connecticut four hundred and one divorces in one year; in 
the city of San Francisco three hundred and thirty-three 
divorces in 1880; in New England in one year two thousand 
one hundred and thirteen divorces, and in twenty years in 
New England thirty thousand. Is that not easy enough? 

I want you to notice that frequency of divorce always goes 
along with the dissoluteness of society. Home for five hun- 
dred years had not one case of divorce. Those were her days 
of glory and virtue. Then the reign of vice began, and 
divorce became epidemic. If you want to know how rapidly 
the Empire went down, ask Gibbon. Do you know how the 
Keign of Terror was introduced in France? By twenty thou- 
sand cases of divorce in one year in Paris. What we want in 
this country, and in all lands, is that divorce be made more, 
and more, and more difficult. Then people before they enter 


that relation will be persuaded that there will probably be 
no escape from it, except through the door of the sepulcher. 
Then they will pause on the verge of that relation, until they 
are fully satisfied that it is best, and that it is right, and that 
it is happiest. Then we shall have no more marriage in fun. 
Then men and women will not enter the relation with the 
idea it is only a trial trip, and if they do not like it they can 
get out at the first landing. Then this whole question will 
be taken out of the frivolous into the tremendous, and there 
will be no more joking about the blossoms in a bride's hair 
than about the cypress on a coffin. 

What we want is that the Congress of the United States 
move for the changing the national Constitution so that a 
law can be passed which shall be uniform all over the country, 
and what shall be right in one State shall be right in all the 
States, and what is wrong in one State will be wrong in all 
the States. 

How is it now? If a party in the marriage relation gets 
dissatisfied, it is only necessary to move to another State to 
achieve liberation from the domestic tie, and divorce is 
effected so easy that the first one party knows of it is by 
seeing it in a newspaper that Rev. Dr. Somebody on a certain 
day, introduced into a new marriage relation, a member of the 
household who went off on a pleasure excursion to Newport, 
or a business excursion to Chicago. Married at the bride's 
house. No cards. There are States of the Union which 
practically put a premium upon the disintegration of the 
marriage relation, while there are other States, like New York 
State, that has the pre-eminent idiocy of making marriage 
lawful at twelve and fourteen years of age. 

The Congress of the United States needs to move for a 
change of the national Constitution, and then to appoint a 
committee — not made up of single gentlemen, but of men of 
families, and their families in Washington — who shall pre- 
pare a good, honest, righteous, comprehensive, uniform law 


that will control everything from Sandy Hook to Golden 
Horn. That will put an end to brokerages in marriage. 
That will send divorce lawyers into a decent business. That 
will set people agitated for many years on the question of 
how shall they get away from each other, to planning how 
they can adjust themselves to the more or less unfavorable 

More difficult divorce will put an estoppal to a great 
extent upon marriage as a financial speculation. There are 
men who go into the relation just as they go into Wall Street 
to purchase shares. The female to be invited into the part- 
nership of wedlock is utterly unattractive, and in disjoosition 
a suppressed Vesuvius. Everybody knows it, but this mas- 
culine candidate for matrimonial orders, through the com- 
mercial agency or through the country records, find out how 
much estate is to be inherited, and he calculates it. He 
thinks out how long it will be before the old man will die, 
and whether he can stand the refractory temper until he does 
die, and then he enters the relation; for he says, "If I can- 
not stand it, then through the divorce law I'll back out." 
That process is going on all the time, and men enter the 
relation without any moral principle, without any affection, 
and it is as much a matter of stock speculation as anything 
that transpires in Union Pacific, Wabash and Delaware and 

Now, suppose a man understood, as he ought to under- 
stand, that if he goes into that relation there is no possibility 
of his getting out, or no probability, he would be more slow 
to put his neck in the yoke. He should say to himself, 
" Eather than a Caribbean whirlwind with a whole fleet of 
shipping in its arms, give me a zephyr off fields of sunshine 
and gardens of peace." 

Eigorous divorce law will also hinder woman from the 
fatal mistake of marrying men to reform them. If a young 
man by twenty-five years of age, or thirty years of age have 



the habit of strong drink fixed on him, he is as certainly 
bound for a drunkard's grave as that train starting out from 
Grand Central Depot at 8 o'clock to-morrow morning is 
bound for Albany. It may not reach Albany, for it may be 
thrown from the track. The young man may not reach a 
drunkard's grave, for something may throw him off the iron 
tracks of evil habit ; but the probability is that the train will 


reach Albany and the probability is that the young man 
who has the habit of strong drink fixed on him before thirty 
years of age will arrive at a drunkard's grave. She knows he 
drinks. Everybody knows he drinks. Parents warn, neigh- 
bors and friends warn. She will marry him, she will reform 

If she is unsuccessful in the experiment, wby then the 
divorce law will emancipate her, because habitual drunken- 
ness is a cause for divorce in Indiana, Kentucky, Florida, 


Connecticut, and nearly all the States. So the poor thing 
goes to the altar of sacrifice. If you will show me the 
poverty-struck streets in any city, I will show you the homes 
of the women who married men to reform them. In one 
case out of ten thousand it may be a successful experiment. 
I never saw the successful experiment. But have a rigorous 
divorce law, and that woman will say, " If I am affianced to 
that man, it is for life ; and if now in the ardor of his young 
love, and I am the prize to be won, he will not give up his 
cups, when he has won the prize, surely he will not give 
up his cups." And so that woman will say to the man, 
" No, sir, you are already married to the club, and you are 
married to that evil habit, and so you are married twice, and 
you are a bigamist. Go! " 

A rigorous divorce law will also do much to hinder hasty 
and inconsiderate marriages. Under the impression that 
one can be easily released, people enter the relation without 
inquiry, and without reflection. Romance and impulse rule 
the day. Perhaps the only ground for the marriage compact 
is that she likes his looks, and he admires the graceful way 
she passes around the ice-cream at the picnic! It is all they 
know about each other. It is all the preparation for life. A 
man, not able to pay his own board bill, with not a dollar in 
his possession, will stand at the altar and take the loving 
hand, and say, " With all my worldly goods I thee endow! " 
A woman that could not make a loaf of bread to save hei 
life, will swear to cherish and obey. A Christian will marry 
an atheist, and that always makes conjoined wretchedness; 
for if a man does not believe there is a God he is neither to 
be trusted with a dollar, nor with your life-long happiness. 

Having read much about love in a cottage people brought 
up in ease will go and starve in a hovel. Runaway matches 
and elopements, ninety-nine out of thousand of which mean 
death and hell, multiplying on all hands. You see them in 
every day's newspapers. Our ministers in this region have no 


defence such as they have in other cities where the banns must 
be previously published and an officer of the law must give a 
certificate that all is right; so clergymen are left defenceless, 
and unite those who ought never to be united. Perhaps they 
are too young or perhaps they are standing already in some 
domestic compact. 

By the wreck of ten thousand homes, by the holocaust of 
ten thousand sacrificed men and women, by the hearth-stone 
of the family which is the cornerstone of the State, and in 
the name of that God wbo hath set up the family institution 
and who hath made the breaking of the marital oath the 
most appalling of all perjuries, I implore the Congress of the 
United States to make some righteous, uniform law for all 
the States, and from ocean to ocean, on this subject of mar- 
riage and divorce. 

And, fellow-citizens, as well as fellow-Christians, let us 
have a divine rage against anything that wars on the marriage 
state. Blessed institution ! Instead of two arms to fight the 
battle of life, four. Instead of two ej^es to scrutinize the 
path of life, four. Instead of two shoulders to lift the burden 
of life, four. Twice the energy, twice the courage, twice the 
holy ambitition, twice the probability of worldly success, 
twice the prospects of heaven. Into that matrimonial bower 
God fetches two souls. Outside the bower room for all con- 
tentions, and all bickerings, and all controversies, but inside 
that bower there is room for only one guest — the angel of love. 
Let that angel stand at the floral doorway of this Edenic 
bower with drawn sword to hew down the worst foe of that 
bower — easy divorce. And for every Paradise lost may there 
be a Paradise regained. And after we quit our home here 
may we have a brighter home in heaven, at the windows of 
which this moment are familiar faces watching for our 
arrival, and wondering why so long we tarry. 



A procession was formed to carry the Ark or sacred box 
"which, though only three feet nine inches in length and four 
feet three inches in height and depth, was the symbol of 
God's presence. As the leaders of the procession lifted this 
ornamented and brilliant box by two golden poles run 
through four golden rings, and started for Mount Zion, all 
the people chanted the battle hymn: "Let God arise; 
let his enemies be scattered." The Cameronians, of 
Scotland, outraged by James I., who forced upon them reli- 
gious forms that were offensive, and by the terrible persecu- 
tion of Drummond, Dalziel and Turner, and by the oppres- 
sive laws of Charles I. and Charles II., were driven to pro- 
claim war against tyrants, and went forth to fight for reli- 
gious liberty ; and the mountain heather became red with 
carnage, and at Bothwell Bridge and Aird's Moss and Drum- 
clog the battle hymn and the battle shout of those glorious 
old Scotchmen was: "Let God arise; let his enemies be 
scattered." What a whirlwind of power was Oliver Crom- 
well, and how with his soldier's name, " the Ironsides," he 
went from victory to victory! Opposing armies melted as he 
looked at them. He dismissed parliament as easily as a 
schoolmaster a school. He pointed his finger at Berkeley 
Castle, and it was taken. He ordered Lord Hopton, the 
General, to dismount, and he dismounted. See Cromwell 
marching on with his army, and hear the battle cry of " the 
Ironsides," loud as a storm and solemn as a death-knell, 
standards reeling before it, and cavalry horses going back on 
their haunches, and armies flying at Marston Moor, at Win- 



cepy Field, at Naseby, at Bridewater and Dartmouth. " Let 
God arise; let his enemies be scattered." 

You see this is not like a complimentary and tasseled 
sword that you sometimes see hung up in a parlor, a sword 
that was never in battle and only to be used on general 
training day, but more like some weapon carefully hung up 
in your home, telling its story of Chapultepec, Cerro Gordo 
and Cherubusco, and Thatcher's Bun, and Malvern Hill; for 
it hangs in the Scripture armory, telling of the holy wars of 
three thousand years in which it has been carried, but as 
keen and mighty as when David first unsheathed it. It seems 
to me what in the Church of God, and in all styles of refor- 
matory work, we most need now is a battle cry. We raise 
our little standard and put on it the name of some man who 
only a few years ago began to live, and in a few years will 
cease to live. We go into contests against the armies of ini- 
quity, depending too much on human agencies. We use for 
a battle cry the name of some brave Christian reformer, but 
after a while that reformer dies, or gets old, or loses his 
courage, and then we take another battle cry, and this time per- 
haps we put the name of some one who plays Arnold and sells 
out to the enemy. What we want for a battle cry is the name of 
some leader who will never betray us, and will never surren- 
der, and will never die. All respect have I for brave men 
and women, but if we are going to get the victory all along 
the line we must put God first. We must take the hint of 
the Gideonites, who wiped out the Bedouin Arabs, common- 
ly called Midianites. These Gideonites had a glorious leader 
in Gideon, but what was the battle cry with which they flung 
their enemies into the worst defeat into which any army has 
ever tumbled. It was : The sword of the Lord and of Gide- 
on. Put God first, whoever you put second. If the army of 
the American Bevolution is to free America, it must be : The 
sword of the Lord and of Washington. If the Germans 
want to win the day at Sedan, it must be : The sword of the 


Lord and Von Moltke. Waterloo was won for the English 
hecause not only the armed men at the front but the worship- 
ers in the cathedrals at the rear were crying : The sword of 
the Lord and Wellington. The Methodists have gone in tri- 
umph across nation after nation with the cry: The sword of 
the Lord and of Wesley. The Presbyterians have gone from 
victory to victory with the cry : The sword of the Lord and 
John Knox. The Baptists have conquered millions after 
millions for Christ with the cry : The sword of the Lord and 
of Judson. The American Episcopalians have won their 
mighty way with the cry : The sword of the Lord and of 
Bishop Mcllvaine. The victory is to those who put God 
first. But as we want a battle cry suited to all sects of reli- 
gionists, and to all lands, I nominate as the battle cry of 
Christendom in the approaching Armageddon: "Let God 
arise; let his enemies be scattered. 

As far as our finite mind can judge, it seems about time 
for God to rise. Does it not seem that the abominations of 
this earth have gone far enough? Was there ever a time 
when sin was so defiant? Were there ever before so many 
fists lifted toward God, telling him to come on if he dare? 
Look at the blasphemy abroad ! What towering profanity ! 
Would it be possible for any one to calculate the numbers of 
times that the name of Almighty God, and of Jesus Christ, 
are every day taken irreverently on the lips? So common 
has blasphemy become that the public mind and public ear 
have got used to it, and a blasphemer goes up and down this 
country in his lectures defying the plain law against blas- 
phemy, and there is not a mayor in America that has back- 
bone enough to interfere with him save one, and that the 
Mayor of Toronto. Profane swearing is as much forbidden 
by the law as theft, or arson, or murder; yet who executes 
it? Profanity is worse than theft, or arson, or murder, for 
these crimes are attacks on humanity — that is an attack on 
God. This country is pre-eminent for blasphemy. A man 


traveling in Eussia was supposed to be a clergyman. " Why 
do you take me to be a clergyman?" said the man. " Oh," 
said the Russian, "all other Americans swear." The crime 
is multiplying in intensity. God very often shows what He 
thinks of it, but for the most the fatality is hushed up. A 
few summers ago among the Adirondacks I met the funeral 
procession of a man who, two days before, had fallen under 
a flash of lightning while boasting, after a Sunday of work 
in the fields, that he had cheated God out of one day any- 
how; and the man who worked with him on the same Sab- 
bath is still living, but a helpless invalid under the same 
flash. On the road from Margate to Ramsgate, England, 
you may find a rough monument with the inscription : A boy 
was struck dead here while in the act of swearing. 

Years ago in a Pittsburg prison two men were talking 
about the Bible and Christianity, and one of them, Thompson 
by name, applied to Jesus Christ a very low and villainous 
epithet, and as he was littering it he fell. A physician was 
called, but no help could be given. After lying a day with 
distended pupils and palsied tongue, he passed out of this 
world. In a cemetery in Sullivan County, New York, are 
eight head-stones in a line and all alike, and these are the 
facts: In 1861 diphtheria raged in the village, and a physi- 
cian was remarkably successful in curing his patients. So 
confident did he become that he boasted that no case of diph- 
theria could stand before him, and finally defied Almighty 
God to produce a case of diphtheria that he could not cure. 
His youngest child soon after took the disease and died, and 
one child after another, until all the eight had died of diph- 
theria. The blasphemer challenged Almighty God, and God 
accepted the challenge. But I come later down and give you 
a fact that is proved by scores of witnessses. In August 1886 
a man got provoked at the continued drouth and the ruin of 
his crops, and in the presence of his neighbors he cursed God, 
saying that he would cut his heart out if he would come, 


calling him a liar and a coward, and flashing a knife. And 
while he was speaking his lower jaw dropped, smoke issued 
from mouth and nostrils, and the heat of his body was so 
intense it drove back those who would come near. Scores of 
people visited the scene and saw the blasphemer in the awful 
process of expiring. Do not think that because God has been 
silent in your case, 0, profane swearer! that he is dead. Is 
there nothing now in the peculiar feeling of your tongue, or 
nothing in the numbness of your brain that indicates that 
God may come to avenge your blasphemies, or is already 
avenging them? But these cases I have noticed, I believe, 
are only a few cases where there are hundreds. Families 
keep them still to avoid the horrible conspicuity. Physicians 
suppress them through professional confidence. It is a very, 
very, very long roll that contains the names of those who 
died with blasphmies on their lips ; and still the crime rolls 
on, up through parlors, up through chandeliers with lights 
all ablaze, and through the pictured corridors of club-rooms, 
out through busy exchanges where oath meets oath, and 
down through all the haunts of sin, mingling with the rat- 
tling dice and cracking billiard-balls, and the laughter of her 
u who has forgotted the covenant of her God; and round the 
city, and round the earth a seething boiling surge flings its 
1 hot spray into the face of a long suffering God. And the ship 
captain damns his crew, and the merchant damns his clerks, 
and the master builder damns his men, and the hack-driver 
damns his horses; and the traveler damns the stones that 
bruises his foot, or the mud that soils his shoes, or the defec- 
tive time-piece that gets him too late to the railroad train. I 
arrange profane swearing and blasphemy, two names for the 
same thing, as being one of the gigantic crimes of this land, 
and for its extirpation it does seem as if it were about time 
for God to arise. 

Then look a moment at the evil of drunkenness. Whether 
you live in Brooklyn or New York, or Chicago, or Cincinnati, 

or Savannah, or Boston, or in any of the cities of this land, 


count up the saloons on that street as compared with the 


saloons five years ago, and see they are growing far out of 
proportion to the increase of the population. You people 
who are so precise and particular lest there should be some 
imprudence or rashness in attacking the rum traffic, will have 
your son some night pitched into your front door dead drunk, 
or your daugter will come home with her children because 
her husband has by strong drink turned into a demoniac. 
The rum fiend has despoiled whole streets of good homes in 
all our cities. Fathers, brothers, sons, on the funeral pyre 
of strong drink! Fasten tighter the victims! Stir up the 
flames. Pile on the corpses! More men, women and children 
for the sacrifice! Let us have whole generations on fire of 
evil habit; and at the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sack- 
but, psaltery and dulcimer let all the people fall down and 
worship King Alcohol, or you shall be cast into the fiery fur- 
nace under some political platform! I indict this evil as the 
fratricide, the patricide, the matricide, the uxortcide, the regi- 
cide of the century. Yet under what innocent and delusive 
and mirthful names alcoholism decives the people. It is a 
" cordial." It is " bitters" It is an " eye-opener." It is an 
"appetizer." It is a "digester." It is an " invigorator." 
It is a " settler." It is a " night-cap." Why don't they put 
on the right labels — "Essence of Perdition," "Conscience 
Stupefier," "Five Drachms of Heartache," "Tears of 
Orphanage," " Blood of Souls," " Scabs of an Eternal 
Leprosy," "Venom of the Worm That Never Dies." Only 
once in a while is there anything in the title of liquors to 
even hint their atrocity, as in the case of sour mash. That I 
see advertised all over. It is an honest name and any one 
can understand it. Sour mash! That is, it makes a man's 
disposition sour, and his associations sour, and his prospects 
sour; and then it is good to mash his body, and mash his 
soul, and mash his business, and mash his family. Sour 
mash! One honest name at last for an intoxicant! But 
through lying labels of many of the apothecaries' shops good 


people, who are only a little undertone in health and wanting 
of some invigoration, have unwittingly got on their tongue 
the fangs of this cobra that stings to death so large a ratio of 
the human race. 

Others are ruined by the common and all-destructive 
habit of treating customers. And it is a treat on their 
coming to town, and a treat while the bargaining pro- 
gresses, and a treat when the purchase is made, and a treat 
as he leaves town. Others, to drown their troubles, submerge 
themselves with this worse trouble. Ob, the world is battered, 
and bruised, and blasted with this growing evil ! It is more 
and more entranced and fortified. Tbey have millions of 
dollars subscribed to marshal and advance the alcoholic forces. 
They nominate, and elect, and govern the vast majority of 
the office-holders of this country. On their side they have 
enlisted the mightiest political power of the centuries. And 
behind them stand all the myrmidons of the nether world, 
Satanic, and Apollyonic, and diabolic. It is beyond all 
human effort to throw this bastile of decanters or capture 
this Gibralter of rum jugs. And while I approve of all 
human agencies of reform, I would utterly despair, if we had 
nothing else. But what cheers me is that our best troops are 
yet to come. Our chief artillery is in reserve. Our greatest 
commander has not yet fully taken the field. If all hell is 
on their side, all heaven is on our side. No 1 " " Let God 
arise; and let his enemies be scattered. 

Then look at the impurities of these great cities. Ever 
and anon there are in the newspapers explosions of social 
life that make the story of Sodom quite respectable; for such 
things, Christ says, were more tolerable for Sodom and Go- 
morrah than for the Chorazins and Bethsaidas of greater 
light. It is no unusual thing in our cities to see men in 
high position with two or three families, or refined ladies 
willing solemnly to marry the very swine of society if they 
be wealthy. Brooklyn, whose streets fifteen years ago were 


almost free from all sign of the social evil, now night hy 
night rivaling upper Broadway in its flamboyant wickedness. 
The Bible all aflame with denunciation against an impure 
life, but many of the American ministry uttering not one 
point-blank word against this iniquity, lest some old liber- 
tine throw up his church pew. Machinery organized in all 
the cities of the United States and Canada by which to put 
yearly in the grinding mill of this iniquity thousands of the 
unsuspecting of the country farm-houses, one procuress con- 
fessing last week in the courts that she had supplied the in- 
fernal market with one hundred and fifty souls in six months. 
Oh, for five hundred Pall Mall Gazettes in America to swing 
open the door of this lazar-house of social corruption. Ex- 
posure must come before extirpation. While the city van 
carries the scum of this sin from the prison to the police 
court morning by mornnig, it is full time, if we do not want 
high American life to become like that of the court of Louis 
XV., to put millionaire Lotharios and Pompadours of your 
brown-stone palaces into a van of popular indignation, and 
drive them out of resj)ectable associations. What prospect 
of social purification can there be as long as at summer 
watering places it is usual to see a young woman of excel- 
lent rearing stand, and simper, and giggle, and roll up her 
eyes sideways before one of those first-class satyrs of fash- 
ionable life, and on the ball-room floor join him in the 
square dance, the maternal chaperone meanwhile beaming 
from the wall on the scene ? Matches are made in heaven, 
they say. Not such matches, for the brimstone indicates 
the opposite region. The evil is overshadowing all our 
cities. By some these immoralities are called peccadilloes, 
gallantries, eccentricities, and relegated to the realms of joc- 
ularity, and few efforts are being made against it. God 
bless the " White Cross " movement as it is called, the excel- 
lent and talented Miss Frances Willard, its ablest advocate 
on this side the sea, an organization making a mighty 


assault on this evil! God forward the tracts on this subject 
distributed by the religious tract societies of the land! God 
help parents in the great work they are doing in trying to 
start their children with pure principles ! God help all leg- 
islators in their 
attempt to inhibit 
this crime. But 
is this all? Then 
it is only a ques- 
tion of time when 
the last vestige of 
purity and home 
will vanish out 
of sight. Human 
arms, human 
pen s , human 
voices, human 
talents are not 
sufficient. I be- 
gin to look up. I 
listen for artillery 
rumbling d o w n 
the sapphire boul- 
evards of heaven. 
I watch to see if 
in the morning 
light there be not 
the flash of descending scimitars. Oh, for God! Does it 
not seem time for his appearance? Is it not time for all 
lands to cry out: "Let God arise; and let his enemies be 
scattered ! " 

I received a letter sometime ago asking me if I did not 
think that the earthquake in Charleston was the divine chas- 
tisement on that city for its sins. That letter I answer by 
saying that if all our American cities got all the punishment 

oj/vyt+t&xu 8#tV k <£€*rvL> . 


they deserve for tlieir horrible impurities, the earth would 
long ago have cracked open into crevices transcontinental, 
and taken down all our cities ; and Brooklyn and New York 
would have gone so far under that the tip of our church 
spires would be five hundred feet below the surface. It is of 
the Lord's mercies that we have not been consumed. Not 
only are the affairs of this world so a-twist, a- jangle and 
racked, that there seems a need of the divine appearance, but 
there is another reason. Have you noticed that in the his- 
tory of this planet God turns a leaf about every two thou- 
sand years? God turned a leaf and this world was fitted for 
human residence. About two thousand years or more 
passed along and God turned another leaf, and it was the 
deluge. About two thousand years more passed on, and it 
was the appearance of Christ. Almost two thousand more 
years have passed by, and he will probably soon turn another 
leaf. What it shall be I cannot say. It may be the demo- 
lition of all these monstrosities of turpitude and the estab- 
lishment of righteousness in all the earth. He can do it, 
and he will do it. I am as confident as if it were already 
accomplished. How easily he can do it. Let God arise! 
We do not ask God to strike with his right hand, or stamp 
with his foot, or hurl a thunderbolt of his power, but just to 
get up from the throne on which he sits. Only that will be 
necessary. It will be no exertion of omnipotence. It will 
be no bending or bracing for a mighty lift. It will be no 
sending down the sky of the white horse cavalry of heaven 
or rumbling war chariots. He will only rise. Now he is 
sitting in the majesty and patience of his reign. He is 
from his throne watching the mustering of all the forces of 
blasphemy and drunkenness and impurity and fraud and 
Sabbath-breaking, and when they have done their worst and 
are most securely organized, he will bestir himself and say: 
" My enemies have defied me long enough, and their cup of 
iniquity is full. I have given them all opportunity for 


repentance. This dispensation of patience is ended, and the 
faith of the good shall be tried no longer. " And now God 
begins to rise, and what mountains give way under his right 
foot and what continents sink under his left foot I know 
not; but standing in the full height and radiance and gran- 
deur of his nature, he looks this way and that, and how his 
enemies are scattered! Blasphemers, white and dumb, reel 
down to their doom ; and those who have trafficked in that 
which destroys the bodies and souls of men and families will 
fly with cut foot on the down grade of broken decanters; 
and the polluters of society, that did their bad work with 
large fortunes and high social sphere, will overtake in their 
descent the degraded rabble of underground city life as they 
tumble over the eternal precipices ; and the . world shall be 
left clear and clean for the friends of humanity and the wor- 
shipers of Almighty God. The last thorn plucked off, the 
world will be left a blooming rose on the bosom of that 
Christ who came to gardenize it. This earth that stood 
snarling with its tigerish passion, thrusting out its raging 
claws, shall lie down a lamb at the feet of the Lamb of God 
who took away the sins of the world. 

Aud now the best thing I can wish for you, and the best 
thing I can wish for myself, is that we may be found his 
warm and undisguised and enthusiastic friends in that hour 
when God shall rise and his enemies shall be scattered. 



The money that Judas got for surrendering Christ was 
used to purchase a grave-yard. As the money was blood- 
money, the ground bought by it was called in the Syriac 
tongue, Aceldama, meaning "the field of blood." There is 
one word I want to write over every race-course where 
wagers are staked, and every pool-room, and every gambling 
saloon and every table, public or private, where men and 
women bet for sums of money, large or small, and that is a 
word incarnadined with the life of innumerable victims — 
Aceldama. The gambling spirit, which is at all times a 
stupendous evil, ever and anon sweeps over the country like 
an epidemic, prostrating uncounted thousands. There has 
never been a worse attack than that from which all the vil- 
lages, towns and cities are now suffering. The farces re- 
cently enacted in Brooklyn court-room, by which it was 
proved that in the City of Churches there is not enough moral 
force to put into the Penitentiary the gambling jockeys who 
belong there, is only a specimen of the power gained by this 
abomination, which is brazen, sanguinary, trans-continental 
and hemispheric. 

While among my readers are those who have passed on 
into the afternoon of life, and the shadows are lengthening, 
and the sky crimsons with the glow of the setting sun, a large 
number of them are in early life, and the morning is coming 
down out of the clear sky upon them, and the bright air is 
redolent with spring blossoms, and the stream of life, gleam- 
ing and glancing, rushes on between flowery banks, making 
music as it goes. Some of you are engaged in mercaui*^ 



concerns, as clerks and book-keepers, and your whole life is 
to be passed in the exciting world of traffic. The sound of 
busy life stirs you as the drum stirs the fiery war-horse. 
Others are in the mechanical arts, to hammer and chisel your 
way through life, and success awaits you. Some are preparing 
for professional life, and grand opportunities are before you; 
nay, some of you already have buckled on the armor. But, 
whatever your age and calling, the subject of gambling is 
pertinent. Some years ago, when an association for the 
suppression of gambling was organized, an agent of the 
association came to a prominent citizen and asked him to 
patronize the society. He said: "No, I can have no interest 
in such an organization. I am in no wise affected by that 
evil." At that very moment his son, who was his partner in 
business, was one of the heaviest players in "Heme's" famous 
gambling establishment. Another refused his patronage on 
the same ground, not knowing that his first book-keeper, 
though receiving a salary of only a thousand dollars, was 
losing from fifty to one hundred dollars a night. The Presi- 
dent of a railroad company refused to patronize the institu- 
tion, saying: "That society is good for the defense of mer- 
chants, but we railroad people are not injured by this evil." 
Not knowing that, at that very time, two of his conductors 
were spending three nights of each week at faro tables. 
Directly or indirectly this evil strikes at the whole world. 
Gambling is the risking of something more or less valuable 
in the hope of winning more than you hazard. The instru- 
ments of gambling may differ, but the principle is the same. 
The shuffling and dealing cards, however full of temptation, 
is not gambling unless stakes are put up ; while on the other 
hand, gambling may be carried on without cards, or dice, or 
billiards, or a ten-pin alley. The man who bets on horses, 
on elections, on battles, the man who deals in "fancy" stocks, 
or conducts a business which hazards extra capital, or goes 
into transactions without foundation, but dependent upon 
what men call "luck," is a gambler. 


It is estimated that one-fourth of the husiness in London 
iu done dishonestly. Whatever you expect to get from your 
neighbor without offering an equivalent in money, or time, 
or skill, is either the product of theft or gaming. Lottery 
tickets and lottery policies come into the same category. 
Fairs for the founding of hospitals, schools and churches, 
conducted on the raffling system, come under the same 
denomination. Do not, therefore, associate gambling neces- 
sarily with any instrument, or game, or time, or place, or 
think the principle depends upon whether you play for a glass 
of wine or one hundred shares of railroad stock. Whether 
you patronize "auction-pools" "French mutuals" or "book- 
making," whether you employ faro or billiards, rondo and 
keno, cards or bagatelle, the very idea of the thing is dishon- 
est; for it professes to bestow upon you a good for which 
you give no equivalent. This crime is no new-born sprite, 
but a haggard transgression that comes staggering down 
under a mantle of curses through many centuries. All 
nations, barbarous and civilized have been addicted to it. 
Before 1838 the French Government received revenue from 
gaming houses. In 1567 England, for the improvement of 
her harbors, instituted a lottery to be held at the front door 
of St. Paul's Cathedral. Four hundred thousand tickets 
were sold at ten shillings each. The British Museum and 
Westminster bridge were partially built by similar proced- 
ures. The ancient Germans would sometimes put up them- 
selves and families as prizes, and suffer themselves to be 
bound, though stronger than the persons who won them. 

But now the laws of the whole civilized world denounce 
the system. Enactments have been passed, but only partial- 
ly enforced, and at times not enforced at all. The men in- 
terested in gaming houses, and in jockey clubs, wield such 
influence by their numbers and affluence that the judge, the 
jury and the police officer must be bold indeed who would 
array themselves against these infamous establishments. The 


House of Commons, of England, actually adjourns on Derby 
Day to go out and bet on the races; and in the best circles of 
society in this country to-day are many hundreds of profess- 
edly respectable men who are acknowledged gamblers. Hun- 
dreds of thousands of dollars in this land are every day being 
won and lost through sheer gambling. Says a traveler 
through the West: " I have traveled a thousand miles at a 
time upon the Western waters, and seen gambling at every 
waking moment from the commencement to the termination 
of the journey." The Southwest of this country reeks with 
this sin. In some of those cities every third or fourth house 
in many of the streets is a gaming place, and it may be truth- 
fully averred tbat each of our cities is cursed with this evil. 

In themselves most of the games employed in gamb- 
ling are without harm. Billiard tables are as harmless 
as tea tables, and a pack of cards as a pack of letter 
envelopes, unless stakes be put up. But by their use 
for gambling purposes they have become significant of 
an infinity of wretchedness — six hundred gambling sa- 
loons in New York City when last counted. Men wishing 
to gamble, will find places just suited to their capacity, not 
only in the under-ground oyster cellar, or at the table back 
of the curtain, covered with greasy cards, or in the steamboat 
smoking cabin, where the bloated wretch with rings in his 
ears deals out his pack and winks at the unsuspecting travel- 
er — providing free drinks all around — but in gilded parlors 
and amid gorgeous surroundings. 

This sin works ruin first, by unhealthful stimulants. Ex- 
citement is pleasurable. Under every sky and in every age 
men have sought it. The Chinaman gets it by smoking his 
opium; the Persian by chewing hashish; the trapper in a 
buffalo-hunt; the sailor in a squall; the inebriate in the bot- 
tle, and the avaricious at the gaming table. We must at 
times have excitement. A thousand voices in our nature de- 
mand it. It is right. It is healthful. It is inspiriting. It 



is a desire God-given. But anything that first gratifies this 
appetite and hurls it hack in a terrific reaction is deplorable 
and wicked. Look out for the agitation that, like a rough 


musician, in bringing out the tune plays so hard he breaks 
down the instrument. God never made man strong enough 
to endure the wear and tear of gambling excitement. No 
wonder if, after having failed in the game, men have begun 
to sweep off imaginary gold from the side of the table. The 


man was sharp enough when he started at the game, but a 
maniac at the close. At every gaming table sit on one side 
Ecstasy, Enthusiasm, Romance — the frenzy of joy; on the 
other side Fierceness, Eage and Tumult. The professional 
gamester schools himself into apparent quietness. The 
keepers of gambling rooms are generally fat, rollicking and 
obese; but thorough and professional gamblers, in nine 
cases out of ten, are pale, thin, wheezing, tremulous and ex- 

A young man having suddenly inherited a large property, 
sits at the hazard tables and takes up in a dice box the estate 
won by a father's lifetime sweat, and shakes it, and tosses it 
away. Intemperance soon stigmatizes its victim — kicking 
him out, a slavering fool, into the ditch, or sending him, with 
the drunkard's hiccough, staggering up the street where his 
family lives. But gambling does not in that way expose its 
victims. The gambler may be eaten up by the gambler's 
passion, yet you only discover it by the greed in his eyes, the 
hardness of his features, the nervous restlessness, the thread- 
bare coat, and his embarrassed business. Yet he is on the , 
road to hell, and no preacher's voice, or startling warning, 
or wife's entreaty, can make him stay for a moment his head- 
long career. The infernal spell is on him; a giant is aroused 
within, and though you bind him with cables, they would 
part like thread, and though you fasten him seven times 
round with chains, they would snap like rusted wire; and 
though you piled up in his path heaven-high, Bibles, tracts 
and sermons, and on the top should set the cross of the Son 
of God, over them all the gambler would leap like a roe over 
the rocks, on his way to perdition. 

Again, this sin works ruin by killing industry. A man 
used to reaping scores or hundreds of dollars from the gam- 
ing table will not be content with slow work. He will say: 
" What is the use of trying to make these fifty dollars in my 
store when I can get five times that in half an hour down at 


Billy's?" Yoti never knew a confirmed gambler who was in- 
dustrious. The men given to this vice spend their time, not 
actively employed in the game, in idleness, or intoxication, 
or sleep, or in corrupting new victims. This sin has dulled 
the carpenter's saw and cut the band of the factory wheel, 
sunk the cargo, broken the teeth of the farmer's harrow, and 
sent a strange lightning to shatter the battery of the philo- 
sopher. The very first idea in gaming is at war with all the 
industries of society. Any trade or occupation that is of use 
is ennobling. The street-sweeper advances the interests of 
socitey by the cleanliness effected. The cat pays for the 
fragments it eats by cleaning the house of virmin. The fly 
that takes the sweetness from the dregs of the cup, compen- 
sates by purifying the air and keeping back the pestilence. 
But the gambler gives not anything for that which he takes. 
I recall that sentence. He does make a return ; but it is a 
disgrace to the man he fleeces, despair to his heart, ruin to 
his business, anguish to his wife, shame to his children, and 
eternal wasting away to his soul. He pays in tears and blood 
and agony and darkness and woe. What dull work is plow- 
ing to the farmer when in the village saloon in one night he 
makes and loses the value of a summer harvest! Who will 
want to sell tape and measure nankeen, and cut garments, 
and weigh sugars, when in a night's game he makes aud 
loses, and makes again and loses again the profits of a sea- 
son? John Borack was sent as mercantile agent from Bre- 
men to England and this country. After two years his em- 
ployers mistrusted that all was not right. He was a defaidter 
for eighty-seven thousand dollars. It was found that he lost 
in Lombard street, London, twenty-nine thousand dollars, 
in Fulton street, New York, ten thousand dollars, and in New 
Orleans, three thousand dollars. He was imprisoned, but 
afterward escaped, and went into the gambling profession. 
He died in a lunatic asylum. This crime is getting its lever 
under many a mercantile house iji our cities, and before long 

GAMBLING!-. 151 

down will come the great establishment, crushing reputa- 


tion, home comfort and immortal souls. How it diverts and 
sinks capital may be inferred from some authentic statements 


before us. The ten gaming houses that once were authorized 
in Paris passed through the banks yearly three hundred and 
twenty-five million francs. 

Where does all the money come from? The whole world 
is robbed! What is most sad, there are no consolations for 
the loss and suffering entailed by gaming. If men fall in 
lawful business, God pities and society commiserates; but 
where, in the Bible or society, is there any consolation for 
the gambler? From what tree of the forest oozes there a 
balm that can soothe the gamester's heart? In that bottle 
where God keeps the tears of his children, are there any tears 
of the gambler? Do the winds that come to kiss the faded 
cheek of sickness and to cool the heated brow of the laborer, 
whisper hope and cheer to the emaciated victim of the game 
of hazard? When an honest man is in trouble, he has sym- 
pathy. "Poor fellow!" they say. But, do gamblers come 
to weep at the agonies of the gambler? In Northumberland 
was one of the finest estates in England. Mr. Porter owned 
it, and in a year gambled it all away. Having lost the last acre 
of the estate, he came down from the saloon and got into his 
carriage; went back; put up his horses and carriage and 
town house and played. He threw and lost. He started for 
home, and on a side alley met a friend, from whom he bor- 
rowed ten guineas; he went back to the saloon, and before a 
great while, had won twenty thousand pounds. He died at 
last a beggar in St. Giles. How many gamblers felt sorry 
for Mr. Porter? Who consoled him on the loss of his estate? 
What gambler subscribed to put a stone over the poor man's 
grave? Not one! Furthermore, this sin is the source of 
uncounted dishonesty. The game of hazard itself is often a 
a cheat. How many tricks and deceptions in the dealing of 
the cards! The opponent's hand is ofttimes found out by 
fraud. Cards are marked so that they may be designated 
from the back. Expert gamesters have their accomplices, 
and one wink may decide the game. The dice have been 


found loaded with platiua, so that doublets come up every 
time. These dice are introduced by the gamblers unobserved 
by the honest men who have come into the play, and this 
accounts for the fact that ninety-nine out of a hundred who 
gamble, however wealthy when they began, at the end are 
found to be poor, miserable, haggard wretches, that would 
not now be allowed to sit on the doorstep of the house that 
they once owned. In a gaming-house in San Francisco, a 
young man having just come from the mines deposited a 
large sum upon the race and won twenty-two thousand dol- 
lars. But the tide turns. Intense anxiety comes upon the 
countenances, of all. Slowly the cards went forth. Every 
eye is fixed. Not a sound is heard, until the ace is revealed 
favorable to the bank. There are shouts of "Foul! foul!" 
but the keepers of the table produce their pistols, and the 
uproar is silenced and the bank has won ninety-five thousand 
dollars. Do you call this a game of chance? There is no 
chance about it. But these dishonesties in the carrying on 
of the game are nothing when compared with the frauds that 
are committed in order to get money to go on with the nefari- 
ous work. Gambling, with its needy hand, has snatched 
away the widow's mite and the portion of the orphans; has 
sold the daughter's virtue to get the means to continue the 
game; has written the counterfeit's signature, emptied the 
banker's money vault, and wielded the assassin's dagger. 
There is no depth of meanness to which it will not stoop. 
There is no cruelty at which it is appalled. There is no 
warning of God that it will not dare. Merciless, unappeas- 
able, fiercer and wilder it blinds, it hardens, it rends, it 
blasts, it crushes, it damns. It has peopled our prisons and 
lunatic asylums. 

How many railroad agents, and cashiers and trustees of 
funds it has driven to disgrace, incarceration and suicide. 
Witness years ago a cashier of the Central Kailroad and 
Banking Company of Georgia who stole one hundred and 


three thousand dollars to carry on his gaming practices. 
Witness the forty thousand dollars stolen from a Brooklyn 
bank within the memory of many, and the one hundred and 
eighty thousand dollars taken from a Wall street insurance 
company for the same purpose. These are only illustrations 
on a large scale of the robberies committed for the purpose 
of carrying out the designs of gamblers. Hundreds of 
thousands of dollars every year leak out without observation 
from the merchant's till into the gambling hell. A man in 
London keeping one of these gambling houses boasted that 
he had ruined a nobleman in a day ; but if all the saloons of 
this land were to speak out, they might utter a more infamous 
boast, for they have destroyed a thousand noblemen a year. 
Notice also the effect of this crime upon domestic happiness. 
It has sent its ruthless ploughshare through hundreds of 
families, until the wife sat in rags, and the daughters were 
disgraced, and the sons grew up to the same infamous prac- 
tices, or took a short cut to destruction across the murderer's 
scaffold. Home has lost all charms for the gambler. How 
tame are the children's caresses and a wife's devotion to the 
gambler! How drearily the fire burns on the domestic 
hearth! There must be louder laughter, and something to 
win, and something to lose; an excitement to drive the heart 
faster, fill up the blood and fire the imagination. No home, 
however bright, can keep back the gamester. The sweet call 
of love bounds back from his iron soul, and all endearments 
are consumed in the fire of his passion. The family Bible 
will go after all other treasures are lost, and if his crown in 
heaven were put into his hand he would cry: "Here goes 
one more game, my boys. On this one throw I stake my 
crown of heaven." 

An only son went to New Orleans. He was rich, intel- 
lectual and elegant in manners. His parents gave him, on 
his departure from home, their last blessing. The sharpers 
got hold of him. They flattered him. They lured him to 


the gaming-table and let him win almost* every time for a 
good while, and patted him on the back and said, "First-rate 
player." But fully in their grasp they fleeced him, and his 
thirty thousand dollars were lost. Last of all, he put up his 
watch and lost that. Then he began to think of his home 
and of his old father and mother, and wrote thus : 

"My Beloved Parents: You will doubtless feel a momen- 
tary joy at the reception of this letter from the child of your 
bosom, on whom you have lavished all the favors of your 
declining years. But should a feeling of joy for a moment 
spring up in your hearts when you should have received this 
from me, cherish it not. I have fallen deep, never to rise. 
Those gray hairs that I should have honored and protected 1 
shall bring down in sorrow to the grave. I will not curse 
my destroyer; but, Oh, may God avenge the wrongs and 
impositions practiced upon the unwary in a way that shall 
best please Him ! This, my dear parents, is the last letter 
you will ever receive from me. I humbly pray your forgive- 
ness. It is my dying prayer. Long before you will have 
received this from me the cold grave will have closed upon 
me forever. Life to me is insupportable. I can not, no, I 
will not, suffer the shame of having ruined you. Forget and 
forgive is the dying prayer of your unfortunate son." 

The old father came to the post office, got the letter and 
fell to the floor. They thought he was dead at first, but 
they brushed back the white hair from his brow and fanned 
him. He had only fainted. I wish he had been dead, for 
what is life worth to a father after his son is destroyed? When 
things go wrong at a gaming table they shout: "Foul! 
foul! " Over all the gaming tables of the world I cry out: 
"Foul! foul! Infinitely foul!" 

"Gift stores" are abundant throughout the country. 
With a book, or knife, or sewing-machine, or coat, or carriage, 
there goes a prize. At these stores people get something 
thrown in with their purchase. It may be a gold watch, 01 



set of silver, a ring, or a farm. Sharp way to get off unsal- 
able goods. It has filled the land with fictitious articles, 
and covered up our population with brass finger rings, and 
despoiled the moral sense of the community, and is fast 
making a nation of gamblers. The church of God has not 
seemed willing to allow the world to have all the advantage 



of these games of chance. A church fair opens, and toward 
the close it is found that some of the more valuable articles 
are unsalable. Forthwith, the conductors of the enterprise 
conclude that they will raffle for some of the valuable articles, 
and, under pretense of anxiety to make their minister a 
present or please some popular member of the church, 
fascinating persons are dispatched through the room, pencil 
in hand to " solicit shares," or perhaps each draws for his 


own advantage, and scores of people go home with their 
trophies, thinking that is all right, for Christian ladies did 
the embroidery and Christian men did the raffling, and the 
proceeds went toward a new communion set. But you may 
depend on it, that as far as morality is concerned, you might 
as well have won by the crack of the billiard ball or the turn 
of the dice box. Do you wonder that churches built, lighted, 
or upholstered by such processes as that come to great finan- 
cial and spiritual decrepitude? The devil says: "I helped 
to build that house of worship, and I have as much right there 
as you have." And for once the devil is right. We do not 
read that they had a lottery, for building the church at 
Corinth, or at Antioch, or for getting up an embroidered sur- 
plice for Saint Paul. All this I style ecclesiastical gambling. 
More than one man who is destroyed can say that his first 
step on the wrong road was when he won something at a 
church fair. 

The gambling spirit has not stopped for any indecency. 
There transpired in Maryland a lottery in which people drew 
for lots is a burying ground! The modern habit of writing 
about everything is productive of immense mischief. The 
most healthful and innocent amusements of yachting and 
base ball playing have been the occasion of putting up excited 
and extravagant wagers. That which to many has been 
advantageous to body and mind has been to others the 
means of financial and moral loss. The custom is pernicious 
in the extreme where scores of men in respectable life give 
themselves up to betting, now on this boat, now on that; now 
on this ball club, now on that. Betting, that once was 
chiefly the accompaniment of the race-course, is fast becom- 
ing a national habit, and in some circles any opionion ad- 
vanced on finance or politics is accosted with the interroga- 
tion: " How much will you bet on that, sir? " This custom 
may make no appeal to slow, leathargic temperaments, but 
there are in the country tens of thousands of quick, nervous, 


sanguine, excitable temperaments ready to be acted upon, 
and their feet will soon take hold on death. For some 
months, and perhaps for years, they will linger in the more 
polite and elegant circle of gamesters, but after a while their 
pathway will come to the final plunge. Finding themselves 
in the rapids, they will try to back out, and hurled over the 
brink, they will clutch the side of the boat until their finger- 
nails, blood-tipped, will pierce the wood, and then, with white 
cheek and agonized stare, and the horrors of the lost soul 
lifting the very hair from the scalp, they will plunge down 
where no grapplmg-hooks can drag them out. 

Young man! stand back from all styles of gambling. 
The end thereof is death. The ten-pin alley affords the best 
of physical exercise, and many an hour have I passed in 
some such place, getting physical invigoration ; but many of 
the ten-pin alleys are now given up to gambling practices. 
Husbands, brothers, fathers, enter. Put down your thou- 
sand dollars all in gold eagles ! Let the boy set up the pins 
at the other end of the alley! Now stand back and give the 
gamester full sweep! Eoll the first— there! it strikes! and 
down goes his respectability! Try it again! Eoll the sec- 
ond — there! it strikes! and down goes the last feeling of 
humanity ! Try it again. Eoll the third — there ! it strikes ! 
and down goes his soul forever! It was not so much the 
pins that fell, as the soul! the soul! Fatal ten-strike for 
eternity ! 

I will sketch the history of the gambler. Lured by bad 
company he finds his way into a place where an honest man 
ought never to go. He sits down to his first game, but only 
for pastime and the desire of being thought sociable. The 
players deal out the cards. They unconsciously play into 
Satan's hands, who takes all the tricks and both the players' 
souls for trumps — he being a sharper at any game. A slight 
stake is put up, just to add interest, to the play. Game after 
game is played. Larger stakes and still larger. They begin 


to move nervously on their chairs. Their brows lower, and 
eyes flash, until now they who win and they who lose, fired 
alike with passion, sit with set jaws, and compressed lips, 
and clenched fists, and eyes like fire-balls that seem starting 
from their sockets to see the final turn before it comes ; if 
losing, pale with envy and tremulous with unuttered oaths 
cast back red-hot upon the heart — or winning, with hysteric 
laugh — " ha! ha! I have it! " A few years have passed, and 
he is only the wreck of a man. Seating himself at the 
game, ere he throws the first card, he stakes the last relic of 
his wife — the marriage ring which sealed the solemn vows 
between them. The game is lost, and staggering back in 
confusion he dreams. The bright hours of the past mock 
his agony, and in his dreams friends with eyes of fire and 
tongues of flame circle about him with joined hands to dance 
and sing their orgies with hellish chorus, chanting: "Hail, 
brother ! " kissing his clammy forehead until their loathsome 
. locks flowing with serpents, crawl into his bosom and suck 
up his life's blood, and coiling round his heart pinch it with 
chills and shudders unutterable. 

Take warning ! You are no stronger than tens of thou- 
sands who have by this practice been overthrown. No 
young man in our cities can escape being tempted. Beware 
of the first beginning ! This road is down-grade, and every 
instant increases the momentum. Launch not upon this 
treacherous sea. Splint hulks strew the beach. Everlast- 
ing storms howl up and down, tossing unwary crafts into 
the hell-gate. I speak of what I have seen with my own 
eyes. I have looked off into the abyss and have seen the 
foaming and the hissing and the whirling of the horrid deep 
in which the mangled victims writhed, one upon another, 
and struggled, strangled, blasphemed and died — the death- 
stare of eternal despair upon their countenances as the water 
gurgled over them ! 

To a gambler's death bed there comes no hope. He will 


probably die alone. His former associates come not nigh 
his dwelling. When the hour comes, his miserable soul will 
go out of his miserable life into a miserable eternity. As 
his poor remains pass the house where he was ruined, old 
companions may look out a moment and say: " There goes 
the old carcase — dead at last! " but they will not get up from 
the table. Let him down now into his grave. Plant no 
tree to cast its shade there, for the long deep eternal 
gloom that settles there, is shadow enough. Plant no " for- 
get-me-nots " or eglantines around the spot, for flowers were 
not made to grow on such a blasted heath. Visit it not in 
the sunshine for that would be mockery, but in the dismal 
night, when no stars are out, and the spirits of darkness 
come down horsed on the wind, then visit the grave of the 




In olden time, and where Christianity had not interfered 
with it, suicide was considered honorable and a sign of 
courage. Demosthenes poisoned himself when told that 
Alexander's ambassador had demanded the surrender of the 
Athenian orators. Isocrates killed himself rather than 
surrender to Philip of Macedon. Cato, rather than submit to 
Julius Caesar, took his own life, and after three times his 
wounds had been dressed tore them open and perished. 
Mithridates killed himself rather than submit to Pompey, the 
conqueror. Hannibal destroyed his life by poison from his 
ring, considering life unbearable. Lycurgus a suicide, Brutus 
a suicide. After the disaster of Moscow, Napoleon always 
carried with him a preparation of opium, and one night his 
servant heard the ex-emperor arise, put something in a glass 
and drink it, and soon after the groans aroused all the 
attendants, and it was only through utmost medical skill he 
was resuscitated from the stupor of the opiate. 

Times have changed, and yet the American conscience 
needs to be toned up on the subject of suicide. Have you 
seen a paper lately that did not announce the passage out of 
life by one's own behest? Defaulters, alarmed at the idea of 
exposure, quit life precipitately. Men losing large fortunes 
go out of the world because they cannot endure earthly 
existence. Frustrated affection, domestic infelicity, dyspeptic 
impatience, anger, remorse, envy, jealousy, destitution, misan- 
thropy are considered sufficient causes for absconding from 
this life by Paris green, by laudanum, by belladonna, by 
Othello's dagger, by halter, by leap from the abutment of a 



bridge, by fire-arms. More cases of jelo de se in the last two 
years than any two years of the world's existence, and more 
in the last month than in any twelve months. The evil is 
more and more spreading. 

A pulpit not long ago expressed some doubt as to whether 
there was really anything wrong about quitting this life when 
it became disagreeable, and there are found in respectable 
circles people apologetic for the crime which I hope to show 
is the worst of all crimes, and I shall lift a warning unmis- 
takable. But I wish to admit that some of the best 
Christians that have ever lived have committed self- 
destruction, but always in dementia, and not responsible. 
I have no more doubt about their eternal felicity than I 
have of the Christian who dies in his bed in the delirium 
of typhoid fever. While the shock of the catastrophe is 
very great, I charge all those who have had Christian friends 
under cerebral aberration step off the boundaries of this life 
to have no doubt about their happiness. The dear Lord took 
them right out of their dazed and frenzied state into perfect 
safety. How Christ feels toward the insane you may know 
from the kind way He treated the demoniac of Gadara and 
the child lunatic, and the potency with which he hushed the 
tempests either of sea or brain. 

Scotland, the land prolific of intellectual giants, had none 
grander than Hugh Miller. Great for science and great 
for God. He came of the best Highland blood, and was a 
descendant of Donald Roy, a man eminent for piety and the 
rare gift of second-sight. His attainments, climbing up as he 
did from the quarry and the wall of the stone-mason, drew forth 
the astonished admiration of Buckland and Murchison, the 
scientists, and Dr. Chalmers, the theologian, and held universi- 
ties spell-bound while he told them the story of what he had 
seen of God in the old red sandstone. That man did more 
than any being that ever lived to show that the God of the 
hills is the God of the Bible, and he struck his tuning-fork on 


the rocks of Cromarty until he brought geology and theology 
accordant in divine worship. His two books, entitled " Foot- 
prints of the Creator " and the " Testimony of the Eocks " 
proclaimed the banns of an everlasting marriage between 
genuine and science and revelation. On this latter book he 
toiled day and night through love of nature and love of God, 
until he could not sleep, and his brain gave way, and he was 
found dead with a revolver by his side, the cruel instrument 
having had two bullets — one for him and the other for the 
gunsmith who for the coroner's inquest was examining it and 
fell dead. Have you any doubt of the beatification of Hugh 
Miller, after his hot brain had ceased throbbing that winter 
night in his study at Portobello? Among the mightiest of 
earth, among the mightiest of heaven. 

While we make this merciful and righteous allowance in 
regard to those who were plunged into mental incoherence, I 
declare that that man who in the use of his reason, by his 
own act, snaps the bond between his body and his soul goes 
straight into perdition. Shall I prove it? Eevelation 21 :8: 
" Murderers shall have their part in the lake which burnetii 
with fire and brimstone." Eevelation 22:15: " Without are 
dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers." 
You do not believe the New Testament? Then, perhaps, you 
believe the Ten Commandments: " Thou shalt not kill." Do 
you say all these passages refer to the taking of the life of 
others? Then I ask you if you are not as responsible for 
your own life as for the life of others? God gave you a 
special trust in your life. He made you the custodian of 
your life as He made you the custodian of no other life. He 
gave you as weapons with which to defend it two arms to 
strike back assailants, two eyes to watch for invasion, and a 
natural love of life which ought ever to be on the alert. 
Assassination of others is a mild crime compared with the 
assassination of yourself, because in the latter case it is 
treachery to an especial trust, it is the surrender of a castle 


you were especially appointed to keep, it is treason to a 
natural law and it is treason to God added to ordinary 

Notwithstanding the Bible is against this evil, and the 
aversion which it creates by the loathsome and ghastly 
spectacle of those who have hurled themselves out of life, 
and notwithstanding Christianity is against it, and the argu- 
ments and the useful lives and the illustrious deaths of its 
disciples, it is a fact alarmingly patent that suicide is on the 
increase. What is the cause? I charge upon Infidelity and 
Agnosticism this whole thing. If there be no hereafter, or if 
that hereafter be blissful without reference to how we live and 
how we die, why not move back the folding doors between this 
world and the next? And when our existence here becomes 
troublesome, why not pass right over into Elysium? Put this 
down among your most solemn reflections, and consider it; 
there has never been a case of suicide where the operator 
was not either demented, and therefore irresponsible, or an 
infidel. I challenge all the ages, and I challenge the whole 
universe. There never has been a case of self-destruction 
while in full appreciation of his immortality and of the fact 
that that immortality would be glorious or wretched according 
as he accepted Jesus Christ or rejected Him. 

You say it is business trouble, or you say it is electrical 
currents, or it is this, or it is that, or it is the other thing. 
Why not go clear back, my friend, and acknowledge that in 
every case it is the abdication of reason or the teaching of 
infidelity, which practically says, " If you don't like this life 
get out of it, and you will land either in annihilation, where 
there are no notes to pay, no persecutions to suffer, no gout 
to torment, or yon will land where there will be everything 
glorious and nothing to pay for it. Infidelity always has 
been apologetic for self-immolation. After Tom Paines's 
"Age of Eeason " was published and widely read there was a 
marked increase of self-slaughter. A man in London heard 


Mr. Owen deliver his infidel lecture on Socialism, and went 
home, sat down, and wrote these words: "Jesus Christ is 
one of the weakest characters in history, and the Bible is the 
greatest possible deception," and then shot himself. David 
Hume wrote these words: " It would be no crime for me to 
divert the Nile or the Danube from its natural bed. Where, 
then, can be tbe crime in my diverting a few drops of blood 
from their ordinary channel? " And having written the 
essay he loaned it to a friend; the friend read it, wrote a 
letter of thanks and admiration, and shot himself. 

Eousseau, Voltaire, Gibbon, Montaigne, under certain 
circumstances, were apologetic for self-immolation. Infidelity 
puts up no bar to people's rushing out from this world into 
the next. They teach us it does not make any difference how 
you live here or go out of this world, you will land either in 
an oblivious nowhere or a glorious somewhere. And Infidelity 
holds the upper end of the rope for the suicide, and aims the 
pistol with which a man blows his brains out, and mixes the 
strychnine for the last swallow. If Infidelity could carry the 
day and persuade tbe majority of people in this country that 
it does not make any difference how you go out of the world 
you will land safely, the rivers would be so full of corpses the 
ferry-boats would be impeded in their progress, and the crack 
of a suicide's pistol would be no more alarming than the 
rumble of a street car. 

I have sometimes heard it chscused whether tbe great 
dramatist was a Christian or not. I do not know, but I know 
that he considered appreciation of a future existence the 
mightiest hindrance to self-destruction : 

For who could bear the whips and scorns of time, 

The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely, 

The pangs of despis'd love, the law's delay, 

The insolence of office, and the spurns 

That patient merit of the unworthy takes, 

When he himself might his quietus make 

With a bare bodkin? Who would fardels bear, 



To grunt and sweat under a weary life, 
But that the dread of something after death — 
The undiscovered country, from whose bourne 
No traveller returns — puzzles the will. 


Would God that the coroners would be brave in rendering 
the right verdict, and when in a case of irresponsibility they 
say, "While this man was demented he took his life;" in 
the other case say, " Having read infidel books and attended 
infidel lectures, which obliterated from this man's mind all 
appreciation of anything like future retribution, he committed 
self -slaughter! " Ah! Infidelity, stand up and take thy sen- 
tence ! In the presence of God and angels and men, stand 
up, thou monster, thy lip blasted with blasphemy, thy cheek 
scarred with lust, thy breath foul with the corruption of the 


ages! Stand up, Satyr, filthy goat, buzzard of the nations, 
leper of the centuries! Stand up, thou monster Infidelity ! 
Part man, part panther, part reptile, part dragon, stand up 
and take thy sentence ! Thy hands red with the blood in 
which thou hast washed, thy feet crimson with the human 
gore through which thou hast waded, stand up and take thy 
sentence! Down with thee to the pit and sup on the sobs 
and groans of families thou hast blasted, and roll on the bed 
of knives which thou has sharpened for others, and let thy 
music be the everlasting miserere of those whom thou hast 
damned! I brand the forehead of Infidelity with all the 
crimes of self-immolation for the last century on the part of 
those who had their reason. 

If ever your life through its abrasions and its molestations 
should seem to be unbearable and you are tempted to quit 
it by your own behest, do not consider yourselves as worse 
than others. Christ Himself was tempted to cast Himself 
from the roof of the temple; but as He resisted, so resist ye. 
Christ came to medicine all our wounds. In your trouble I 
prescribe life instead of death. People who have had it worse 
than you will ever have it have gone songful on the way. 
Remember that God keeps the chronology of your life with as 
much precision as He keeps the chronology of nations, your 
death as well as your birth, your grave as well as your 
cradle. * 

Why was it that at midnight, just at midnight, the de- 
stroying angel struck the blow that set the Israelites free 
from bondage? The four hundred and thirty years were 
up at twelve o'clock that night. The four hundred and 
thirty years were not up at eleven and one o'clock would 
have been to tardy and too late. The four hundred and 
thirty years were up at twelve o'clock, and the destroying 
angel struck the blow, and Israel was free. And God knows 
just the hour when it is time to lead you up from earthly 
bondage. By His grace make not the worst of things, but 


the best of them. If you must take the pills, do not chew 
them. Your everlasting rewards will accord with your 
earthly perturbations, just as Caius gave to Agrippa a chain 
of gold as heavy as had been his chain of iron. 

Eemember that this brief life of ours is surrounded by a 
rim, a very thin but very important rim, and close up to that 
rim is a great eternity, and you had better keep out of it until 
God breaks that rim and separates this from that. To get 
rid of the sorrows of earth, do not rush into greater sorrows. 
To get rid of a swarm of summer insects, leap not into a 
jungle of Bengal tigers. 

There is a sorrowless world, and it is so radiant that the 
noonday sun is only the lowest doorstep and the aurora that 
lights up our northern heavens, confounding astronomers as 
to what it can be, is the waving of the banners of the pro- 
cession come to take the conquerors home from church 
militant to church triumphant, and you and I have ten 
thousand reasons for wanting to go there, but we will never 
get there either by self-immolation or impenitency. All our 
sins slain by the Christ who came to do that thing, we want 
to go in at just the time divinely arranged, and from a couch 
divinely spread, and then the clang of the sepulchral gates 
behind us will be overpowered by the clang of the opening of 
the solid pearl before us. God, whatever others may 
choose, give me a Christian's life, a Christian's death, a 
Christian's burial, a Christian's immortality! 

After C. Kie^" 



Paul stirred up Ephesus with some lively sermons about 
the sins of that place. Among the most important results 
was the fact that the citizens brought out their bad books and 
in a public place made a bonfire of them. I see the people 
coming out with their arms full of Ephesian literature, and 
tossing it into the flames. I hear an economist standing by 
and saying : " Stop this waste. Here are seven thousand and 
five hundred dollars worth of books — do you propose to burn 
them aU up? If you don't want to read them yourself, sell 
them and let somebody else read them." " No," said the 
people, " if these books are not good for us, they are not good 
for anybody else and we shall stand and watch until the last 
leaf has turned to ashes. They have done us a world of harm, 
and they shall never do others harm. One of the wants 
of the cities of this country is a great bonfire of bad books 
and newspapers. We have enough fuel to make a blaze 
two hundred feet higb. Many of the publishing houses 
would do well to throw into the blaze their entire stock 
of goods. Bring forth the insufferable trash and put it into 
the fire, and let it be known in the presence of God, and 
angels and men, that you are going to rid your homes of the 
overtopping and underlying curse of profligate literature. 

The printing press is the mightiest agency on earth for 
good and for evil. The minister of the Gospel, standing in 
a pulpit has a responsible position; but I do not think it is 
as responsible as the position of an editor or a publisher. At 
what distant point of time, at what far out cycle of eternity, 
will cease the influence of a Henry J. Raymond, or a Horace 



Greeley, or a James Gordon Bennett, or a Watson Webb, or 
an Eratus Brooks, or a Thomas Kinsella? Take the simple 
statistic that the New York dailies now have a circulation of 
about eight hundred and fifty thousand per day, and add to 
it the fact that three of the weekly periodicals have an 
aggregate circulation of about one million, and then cipher, 
if you can, how far up, and how far down, and how far out, 
reach the influences of the American printing-press. What 
is to be the issue of all this ? I believe the Lord intends the 
printing-press to be the chief means for the world's rescue 
and evangelization, and I think that the great last battle of 
the world will not be fought with swords and guns, but with 
types and presses — a purified and gospel literature triumphing 
over, trampling down and crushing out forever that which is 
depraved. The only way to overcome unclean literature is 
by scattering abroad that which is healthful. May God speed 
the cylinders of an honest, intelligent, aggressive, Christian 
printing-press. The greatest blessing that ever came to this 
nation is that of an elevated literature, and the greatest 
scourge has been that of unclean literature. This last has 
its victims in all occupations and departments. It has helped 
to fill insane asylums and penitentiaries and almshouses and 
dens of shame, The bodies of this infections lie in the 
hospitals and in the graves, while their souls are being tossed 
over into a lost eternity, an avalanche of horror and despair. 
The London plague was nothing to it. That counted its 
victims by thousands, but this modern pest has already 
shoveled its millions into the charnel-house of the morally 
dead. The longest rail train that ever ran over the Erie or 
Hudson tracks was not long enough nor large enough to 
carry the beastliness and the putrefaction which have been 
gathered up in bad books and newspapers of this land in the 
last twenty years. 

Now, it is amid such circumstances that I put a question 
Df overmastering importance to you and your families. What 



books and newspapers shall we read? You see a group of 
them together. A newspaper is only a book in a swifter and 
more portable shape, and the same rules which will apply 
to book reading will apply to newspaper reading. "What shall 
we read? Shall our minds be the receptacle of everything 
that an author has a mind to write? Shall there be no 
distinction between the tree of a life and the tree of death? 
Shall we stoop down and drink out of the trough which the 
wickedness of men has filled with pullution and shame? 
Shall we mire in impurity and chase fantastic will-o'-the- 
wisps across the sw T amps, when we might walk in the bloom- 
ing gardens of God? no! For the sake of our present and 
everlasting welfare we must make an intelligent and Christian 
choice. Standing, as we do, chin deep in fictitious literature, 
the first question that many of the young people are asking 
me is: " Shall we read novels? " I reply: There are novels 
that are pure, good, Christian, elevating to the heart and 
ennobling to the life. But I have still further to say that I 
believe that ninety-nine 
out of the hundred novels 
in this day are baleful and 
destructive to the last de- 
gree. A pure work of fic- 
tion is history and poetry 
combined. It is a history 
of things around us, with 
the licenses and the as- 
sumed names of poetry. 
The world can never pay 
the debt which it owes to 
such fictitious writers as 
Hawthorne and McKen- 
zie, and Lander and Hunt, 
and Arthur and Marion 
Harland, and others whose names are familiar to all. The 
follies of high life were never better exposed than by Miss 




Edgeworth. The memories of the past were never more 
faithfully embalmed than in the writings of Walter Scott. 
Cooper's novels are healthfully redolent with the breath of 
the sea- weed, and the air of the American forest. Charles 
Rhigsley has smitten the morbidity of the world, and led a 
great many to appreciate the poetry of sound health, strong 
muscles, and fresh air. Thackeray did a grand work in car- 
icaturing the pretenders to 
gentility and high blood. 
Dickens has built his own 
monument in his books, 
which are an everlasting 
plea for the poor, and the an- 
athema of injustice. 

Now, I say, books like 
these, read at right times, 
and read in right proportion 
with other books, can not 
help but be ennobling and 
purifying; but alas for the 
impure literature that has come upon this country in the 
shape of novels, like a freshet overflowing all the banks of 
decency and common sense ! They are coming from some 
of the most celebrated publishing houses of the country. 
They are coming with recommendation of some of our relig- 
ious newspapers. They lie on your center table to curse 
your children, and blast with their infernal fires generations 
unborn. You find these books in the desk of the school miss, 
in the trunk of the young man, in the steamboat cabin, on 
the table of the hotel reception room. You see a light in 
your child's room late at night. You suddenly go in and 
and say: "What are you doing?" "I am reading." "What 
are you reading? " "A book." You look at the book; it is 
a bad book. "Where did you get it?" "I borrowed it." 
Alas, there are always those abroad who would like to loan 



your son or daughter a bad book. Everywhere, everywhere 
an unclean literature. I charge upon it the destruction of 
ten thousand immortal souls, and I bid you wake up to the 
magnitude of the theme. I shall take all the world's litera- 
ture — good novels and bad, travels true and false, histories 
faithful and incorrect, legends beautiful and monstrous, all 
tracts, all chronicles, all epilogues, all family, city, State and 
national libraries — and pile them up in a pyramid of litera- 
ture, and then I shall bring to bear upon it some grand, 
glorious, infallible, unmistakable Christian principles. God 
help me to write with reference to my last account. I charge 
you, in the first place, to stand aloof from all books that 
give false pictures of human life. Life is neither a tragedy 
nor a farce. Men are not all either knaves nor heroes. 
Women are neither angels nor furies. And yet, if you 
depended upon much of the literature of the day, you would 
get the idea that life, instead of being something earnest, 
something practical, is a fitful and fantastic and extravagant 
thing. How poorly prepared are that young man and woman 
for the duties of to-day who spent last night wading through 
brilliant passages descriptive of magnificent knavery and 
wickedness! The man will be looking all day long for his 
heroine, in the tin-shop, by the forge, in the factory, in the 
counting-room, and he will not find her, and he will be dis- 
satisfied. A man who gives himself up to the indiscriminate 
reading of novels wiU be nerveless, inane, and a nuisance. 
He will be fit neither for the store, nor the shop, nor the 
field. A woman who gives herself up to the indiscriminate 
reading of novels will be unfitted for the duties of wife, 
mother, sister, daughter. There she is, hair disheveled, 
countenance vacant, cheeks pale, hands trembling, bursting 
into tears at midnight over the fate of some unfortunate lover; 
in the day time, when she ought to be busy, staring by the 
half hour at nothing; biting her finger nails into the quick. 
The carpet that was plain before will be plainer after having 


wandered through a romance all night long in tesselated 
halls of castles. And your industrious companion -will he 
more unattractive than ever now that you have walked in the 
romance through parks with plumed princesses, or lounged 
in the arbor with the polished desperado. 0, these confirmed 
novel readers! They are unfitted for this life, which is a 
tremendous discipline. They know not how to go through 
the furnaces of trial through which they must pass, and they 
are unfitted for a world where everything we gain we achieve 
by hard, long-continuing and exhaustive work. 

Again, abstain 'from all those books which, while they 
have some good things about them, have also an admixture 
of evil. You have read books that had two elements in 
them — the good and the bad. Which stuck to you? The 
bad! The heart of most people is like a sieve, which lets 
the small particles of gold fall through, but keeps the great 
cinders. Once in awhile there is a mind like a loadstone, 
which, plunged amid steel and brass filings, gathers up the 
steel and repels the brass. But it is generally just the oppo- 
site. If you attempt to plunge through a fence of burrs to 
get one blackberry, you will get more burrs than blackberries. 
You can not afford to read a bad book, however good you are. 
You say: "The influence is insignificant." I tell you that the 
scratch of a pin has sometimes produced the lock-jaw. Alas, 
if through curiosity, as many do, you pry into an evil book, 
your curiosity is as dangerous as that of the man who would 
take a torch into a gunpowder mill merely to see whether it 
would really blow up or not. 

In a menagerie, a man put his arm through the bars of a 
black leopard's cage. The animal's hide looked so sleek, 
and bright and beautiful. He just stroked it once. The 
monster seized him, and he drew forth a hand torn, and 
mangled, and bleeding. 0, touch not evil even with the 
faintest stroke! Though it may be glossy and beautiful, 
touch it not, lest you pull forth your soul torn and bleeding 


under the clutch of the black leopard. " But," you say, " how 
can I find out whether a book is good or bad without reading 
it?" There is always something suspicious about a bad 
book. I never knew an exception — something suspicious in 
the index or style of illustration. This venomous reptile 
almost always carries a warning rattle. I charge you to 
stand off from all those books which corrupt the imagination 
and inflame the passions. I do not refer now to that kind 
of a book which the villain has under his coat waiting for 
the school to get out, and then, looking both ways to see 
that there is no policeman around the block, offers the book 
to your son on his way home. I do not speak of that kind 
of literature, but that which evades the law and comes out 
in polished style, and with acute plot sounds the tocsin that 
rouses up all the baser passions of the soul. To-day, under 
the nostrils of this land, there is a fetid, reeking, unwashed 
literature, enough to poison all the fountains of public virtue, 
and smite your sons and daughters as with the wing of a 
destroying angel, and it is time that the ministers of the 
gospel blew the trumpet and rallied the forces of righteous- 
ness, all armed to the teeth, in this great battle against a 
depraved literature. Again, abstain from those books which 
are apologetic of crime. It is a sad thing that some of the 
best and most beautiful book-binderies, and some of the 
finest rhetoric, have been brought to make sin attractive. 
Vice is a horrible tbing, anyhow. It is born in shame, and 
dies howling in the darkness. In this world it is scourged 
with a whip of scorpions, but afterwards the thunders of 
God's wrath pursue it across a boundless desert, beating it 
with ruin and woe. When you come to paint carnality, do 
not paint it as looking from behind embroidered curtains, or 
through lattice of royal seraglio, but as writhing in the 
agonies of a city hospital. 

Cursed be the books that try to make impurity decent, 
and crime attractive, and hypocrisy noble! Cursed be the 


books that swarm with libertines and desperadoes, who make 
the brain of the young people whirl with villainy. Ye 
authors who write them, ye publishers who print them, ye 
booksellers who distribute them, shall be cut to pieces, if not 
by an aroused community, then, at last, by the hail of divine 
vengeance, which shall sweep to the lowest pit of perdition 
all ye murderers of souls. I tell you, though you may escape 
in this world, you will be ground at last under the hoof of 
eternal calamities, and you will be chained to the rock, and 
you will have the vultures of despair clawing at your soul, 
and those whom you have destroyed will come around to 
torment you, and to pour hotter coals of fury upon your head, 
and rejoice eternally in the outcry of your pain and the howl 
of your damnation. 

The clock strikes midnight. A fair form bends over a 
romance. The eyes flash fire. The breath is quick and 
irregular. Occasionally the color dashes to the cheek, and 
then dies out. The hands tremble as though a guardian 
spirit were trying to shake the deadly book out of the grasp. 
Hot tears fall. She laughs with a shrill voice that drops dead 
at its own sound. The sweat on her brow is the spray dashed 
up from the river of death. The clock strikes four, and the 
rosy dawn soon after begins to look through the lattice upon 
the pale form that looks like a detained specter of the night. 
Soon in a mad-house she will mistake her ringlets for curling 
serpents, and thrust her wdiite hand through the bars of the 
prison, and smite her head, rubbing it back as though to push 
the scalp from the skull, shrieking: "My brain! my brain!" 
Oh, stand off from that! "Why will you go sounding your 
way amid the reefs and warning buoys, when there is such a 
vast ocean in which you may voyage, all sail set? 

I consider the lascivious pictorial literature of the day as 
most tremendous for ruin. There is no one who can like 
good pictures better than I do. The quickest and most con- 
densed way of impressing the public mind is by pictures. 


What the painter does by his brush for a few favorites the 
engraver does by his knife for the million. What the author 
accomplishes by fifty pages the artist does by a flash. The 
best part of a painting that costs ten thousand dollars you may 
buy for ten cents. Fine paintings belong to the aristocracy of 
art. Engravings belong to the democracy of art. You do "well 
to gather good pictures in your homes. Spread them before 
your children after the tea hour is past and the evening circle 
is gathered. Throw them on the invalid's couch. Strew 
them through the rail train to cheer the traveler on his 
journey. Tack them on the wall of the nursery. Gather 
them in albums and portfolios. God speed the good pictures 
on their way with ministries of knowledge and mercy. But 
what shall I say of the prostitution of this art to purposes 
of iniquity? These death-warrants of the soul are at every 
street corner. They smite the vision of the young man with 
pollution. Many a young man buying a copy has bought his 
eternal discomfiture. There may be enough poison in one 
bad picture to poison one soul, and that soul may poison ten, 
and ten fifty, and the fifty hundreds, and the hundreds thou- 
sands, until nothing but the measuring line of eternity can 
tell the height, and depth, and ghastilness, and horror of the 
great undoing. The work of death that the wicked author 
does in a whole book the bad engraver may do on a half side 
of a pictorial. Under the guise of pure mirth the young man 
buys one of these sheets. He unrolls it before his comrades 
amid roars of laughter, but long after the paper is gone the 
result may perhaps be seen in the blasted imagination of 
those who saw it. The queen of death holds a banquet 
every night, and these periodicals are the printed invitations 
to her guests. Alas, that the fair brow of American art 
should be blotched w T ith this plague spot, and that philan- 
thropists, bothering themselves about smaller evils, should 
lift up no united and vehement voice against this great 
calamity. Young man, buy not this moral strychnine for 



your soul. Pick not up this nest of coiled adders for your 
pocket. Patronize no news-stand that keeps them. Have 
your room bright with good engravings, but for these out- 
rageous pictorials have not one wall, not one bureau, not one 
pocket. A man is no better than the pictures he loves to look 
at. If your eyes are not pure your heart can not be. At a 
news-stand one can guess the character of a man by the kind 
of pictorial he purchases. When the devil fails to get a man 
to read a bad book, he sometimes succeeds in getting him to 

look at a bad picture. 
When Satan goes a- 
fishing he does not care 
whether it is a long line 
or a short line, if he 
only draws his victim 
in. Beware of lascivi- 
ous pictorials, young 
man, in the name of 
Almighty God I charge 

If I have success- 
fully laid down any 
principles by which you 
may judge in regard to 
books and newspapers, 
then I have done some- 
thing of which I shall 
not be ashamed on the 


every man's work, of what sort it is. 

Cherish good books and newspapers. Beware of the bad 
ones. One column may save your soul; one paragraph may 
ruin it. Benjamin Franklin said that the reading of Cotton 
Mather's essay on "Doing Good" molded his entire life. The 
assassin of Lord Kussell declared that he was led into crime 


by reading one vivid romance. The consecrated John Angell 
James, than whom England never produced a better man, 
declared in his old days that he had never yet got over the 
evil effects of having for fifteen minutes once read a bad book. 
But I need not go so far off. I could come near home and 
tell you of something that occurred in my college days. I 
could tell you of a comrade that was great-hearted, noble and 
generous. He was studying for an honorable profession, but 
he had an infidel book in his trunk, and he said to me one 
day? "De Witt, would you like to read it?" I said: "Yes, 
I would." I took the book and read it only for a few min- 
utes. I was really startled with what I saw there, and I 
handed the book back to him and said: "You had better 
destroy that book." No, he kept it. He read it. Here-read 
it. After awhile he gave up religion as a myth. He gave up 
God as a nonentity. He gave up the Bible as a fable. He 
gave up the Church of Christ as a useless institution. He 
gave up good morals as being unnecessarily stringent. I 
have heard of him but twice in many years. The time before 
the last I heard of him he was a confirmed inebriate. The 
last I heard of him he was coming out of an insane asylum — 
in body, mind and soul an awful wreck. I believe that one 
infidel book killed him for two worlds. 

Look through your library, and then, having looked 
through your library, look on the stand where you keep your 
pictorials and newspapers, and apply the Christian principles 
I have laid down. If there is anything in your home that 
can not stand the test, do not give it away, for it might spoil 
an immortal soul; do not sell it, for the money you get would 
be the price of blood; but rather kindle a fire on your kitchen 
hearth, or in your back yard, and then drop the poison in it, 
and keep stirring the blaze until from preface to appendix 
there shall not be a single paragraph left, and the bonfire in 
your city shall be as consuming as that one in the streets of 



By a homely but expressive figure, David sets forth the 
bad influences which in olden time broke in upon God's 
heritage, as with swine's foot trampling, and as with swine's 
snout uprooting the vineyards of prosperity. What was true 
then is true now. There have been enough trees of right- 
eousness planted to overshadow the whole earth, had it not 
been for the axe-men who hewed them down. The temple of 
truth would long ago hive been completed had it not been 
for the iconoclasts who defaced the walls and battered down 
the pillars. The whole earth would have been an Eshcol of 
ripened clusters had it not been that "the boar has wasted it 
and the wild beast of the field devoured it." 

I propose to point out to you those whom I consider to 
be the uprooting and devouring classes of society. First, the 
jmblic criminals. You ought not to be surprised that these 
people make up a large portion in many communities. The 
vast majority of the criminals who take ship from Europe 
come into our own port. In 1869, of the forty-nine thou- 
sand people who were incarcerated in the prisons of the 
country, thirty-two thousand were of foreign birth. Many 
of them were the very desperadoes of society, oozing into 
the slums of our cities, waiting for an opportunity to riot 
and steal and debauch, joining the large gang of American 
thugs and cut-throats. There are in this cluster of cities — 
New York, Jersey City and Brooklyn — four thousand people 
whose entire business in life is to commit crime. That is as 
much their business as jurisprudence or medicine or mer- 
chandise is your business. To it they bring all their energies 



of body mind, and soul, and they look upon the interreg- 
nums which they spend in prison as so much unfortunate 
loss of time, just as you look upon an attack of influenza or 
rheumatism which fastens you in the house for a few days. 
It is their lifetime business to pick pockets, and blow up 
safes, and shoplift, and ply the panel game, and they have 
as much pride of skill in their business as you have in yours 
when you upset the argument of an opposing counsel, or 
cure a gun-shot fracture which other surgeons have given 
up, or foresee a turn in the market so you buy goods just 
before they go up twenty per cent. It is their business to 
commit crime, and I do not suppose that once in a year tbe 
thought of the immorality strikes them. Added to these 
professional criminals, American and foreign, there is a 
large class of men who are more or less industrious in crime. 
In one year the police in this cluster of cities arrested ten 
thousand people for theft, and ten thousand for assault and 
battery, and fifty thousand for intoxication. Drunkenness 
is responsible for much of the theft, since it confuses a 
man's ideas of property, and he gets bis hands on things 
that do not belong to him. Eum is responsible for much of 
the assault and battery, inspiring men to sudden bravery, 
which they must demonstrate though it be on the face of the 
next gentleman. 

Seven million of dollars' worth of property stolen in tins 
cluster of cities in one year. You cannot, as good citizens, 
be independent of that fact. It will touch your pocket, since 
I have to give you the fact that these three cities pay seven 
million dollars' worth of taxes a year to arraign, try and sup- 
port the criminal population. You help to pay the board of 
every criminal, from the sneak-thief that snatches a spool of 
cotton, up to some man who enacts a "Black Friday." More 
than that, it touches your heart in the moral depression of 
the community. You might as well think to stand in a 
closely confined room where there are fifty people and yet not 


breathe the vitiated air, as to stand in a community where 
there is such a great multitude of the depraved without 
somewhat being contaminated. What is the fire that burns 
your store down compared with the conflagration which con- 
sumes your morals? What is the theft of the gold and silver 
from your money safe compared with the theft of your chil- 
dren's virtue? 

We are all ready to arraign criminals. We shout at the 
top of our voice, "Stop thief I" and when the police get on 
the track we come out, hatless and in our slippers, and assist 
in the arrest. We come around the bawling ruffian and 
hustle him off to justice, and when he gets in prison, what 
do we do for him? With great gusto we put on the hand- 
cuffs and the hopples ; but what preparation are we making 
for the day when the handcuffs and hopples come off? 
Society seems to say to these criminals, "Villain, go in there 
and rot," when it ought to say, "You are an offender against 
the law, but we mean to give you an opportunity to repent ; 
we mean to help you. Here are Bibles and tracts and Chris- 
tian influences. Christ died for you. Look and live." 
Vast improvements have been made by introducing industry 
into the prison ; but we want something more than hammers 
and shoe lasts to reclaim these people. Aye, we want more 
than sermons on the Sabbath day. Society must impress 
these men with the fact that it does not enjoy their suffering, 
and that it is attempting to reform and elevate them. The 
majority of criminals suppose that society has a grudge 
against them, and they in turn have a grudge against society. 
They are harder in heart and more infuriate when the}' 
come out of jail than when they went in. Many of the 
people who go to prison go again and again and again. 
Some years ago, of fifteen hundred prisoners who during the 
year had been in Sing Sing, four hundred had been there 
before. In a house of correction in the country, where dur- 
ing a certain reach of time there had been five thousand 


people, more than three thousand had been there before. So, 
in one case the prison, and in the other case the house of 
correction left them just as bad as they were before. The 
secretary of one of the benevolent societies of New York 
saw a lad fifteen years of age who had spent three years of 
his life in prison, and he said to the lad, " What have they 
done for you to make you better? " " Well," replied the lad, 
" the first time I was brought up before the judge he said, 
' You ought to be ashamed of yourself.' And then I com- 
mitted a crime again, and I was brought up before the same 
judge, and he said, 'You rascal !' And after a while I committed 
some other crime, and I was brought before the same judge, 
and he said, ' You ought to be hanged.' " That is all they 
had done for him in the way of reformation and salvation. 
" Oh," you say, " these people are incorrigible." I suppose 
there are hundreds of persons this day lying in the prison 
bunks who would leap up at the prospect of reformation, if 
society would only allow them a way into decency and 
respectability. " 0," you say, " I have no patience with 
these rogues." I ask you in reply, how much better would 
you have been under the same circumstances? Suppose 
your mother had been a blasphemer and yonr father a sot, 
and you had started life with a body stuffed with evil pro- 
clivities, and you had spent much of your time in a cellar 
amid obscenities and cursing, and if at ten years of age you 
had been compelled to go out and steal, battered and banged 
at night if you came in without any spoils, and suppose 
your early manhood and womanhood had been covered with 
rags and filth and decent society had turned its back upon 
you, and left you to consort with vagabonds and wharf-rats 
— how much better would you have been? 1 have no sym- 
pathy with that executive clemency which would let crime 
run loose, or which would sit in the gallery of a court-room 
weeping because some hard-hearted wretch is brought to 
justice; but I do say that the safety and life of the com* 


munity demand more potential influences in behalf of polit- 
ical offenders. 

The Eaymond street jail is enough to bring down the 
wrath of Almighty God on the city of Brooklyn. It would 
not be strange if the jail fever should start in that horrible 
hole, like that which raged in England during the session of 
the Black Assize, when three hundred perished — judges* 
jurors, constables and lawyers. Alas that our fair city should 
have such a pest-house. I understand the sheriff and jail- 
keeper do all they can, under the circumstances, for the 
comfort of these people ; but five and six people are 
crowded into a place where there ought to be but one or two. 
The air is like that of the Black Hole of Calcutta. As the 
air swept through the wicket, it almost knocked me down. 
No sunlight. Young men who had committed their first 
crime crowded in among old offenders. I saw there one 
woman, with a child almost blind, who had been arrested 
for the crime of poverty, who was waiting until the slow law 
could take her to the almshouse, where she rightfully be- 
longed ; but she was thrust in there with her child amid the 
most abandoned wretches of the town. Many of the 
offenders in that prison sleeping on the floor with nothing 
but a vermin- covered blanket over them. Those people 
crowded and wan and wasted and half suffocated and infu- 
riated. I said to the men, " How do you stand it here ? " 
" God knows," said one man, " we have to stand it." 0, 
they will pay you when they get out. Where they burned 
down one house they will burn three. They will strike 
deeper the assassin's knife. They are this minute plotting 
worse burglaries. Eaymond street jail is the best place I 
know of to manufacture foot-pads, vagabonds and cut-throats. 
Yale College is not so well calculated to make scholars, nor 
Harvard so well calculated to make scientists, nor Princeton 
so well calculated to make theologians, as Raymond street 
jail is calculated to make criminals. All that these men do 


not know of crime after they have been in that dungeon for 
some time, Satanic machination cannot teach them. Every 
hour that jail stands, it challenges the Lord Almighty to smite 
this city. I call upon the people to rise in their wrath and 
demand a reformation. I call upon the judges of our courts to 
expose that infamy. I call upon the Legislature of the State 
of New York, now in session, to examine and appease that 
outrage on God and human society. I demand, in behalf of 
those incarcerated prisoners, fresh air and clear sunlight, and, 
in the name of Him who had not where to lay His head, a 
couch to rest on at night. In the insufferable stench and 
sickening surroundings of that Eaymond street jail there is 
nothing but disease for the body, idiocy for the mind, and 
death for the soul. Stifled air and darkness and vermin 
never turned a thief into an honest man. 

We want men like John Howard and Sir William Black- 
stone, and women like Elizabeth Fry, to do for the prisons 
of the United States what those people did in other days for 
the prisons of England. I thank God for what Isaac T. 
Hopper and Doctor Wines and Mr. Harris and scores of 
others have done in the way of prison reform; but we want 
something more radical before upon this city will come the 
blessing of Him who said: " I was in prison and ye came 
unto me." 

In this class of uprooting and devouring population are 
untrustworthy officials. " Woe unto thee, land, when thy 
kings, and child, and thy princes drink in the morning." It 
is a great calamity to a city when bad men get into public 
authority. Why was it that in New York there was such 
unparalleled crime between 1866 and 1871! It was because 
the judges of police in that city, for the most part, were as 
corrupt as the vagabonds that came before them for trial. 
Those were the days of high carnival for election frauds, 
assassination, and forgery. We had the " Whiskey Ring," 
and the "Tammany Ring," and the "Erie Ring." There 


was one man during those years that got one hundred and 
twenty-eight thousand dollars in one year for serving the 
public. In a few years it was estimated that there were fifty 
millions of public treasure squandered. In those times the 
criminal had only to wink to the judge, or his lawyer would 
wink for him, and the question was decided for the defend- 
ant. Of the eight thousand people arrested in that city in 
one year, only three thousand were punished. These little 
matters were "fixed up," while the interests of society were 
" fixed down." You know as well as I that a criminal who 
escapes only opens the door for other criminalities. When 
the two pickpockets snatched the diamond pin from the 
Brooklyn gentleman in a Broadway stage, and the villains 
were arrested, and the trial was set down for the General 
Sessions, and then the trial never came, and never anything 
more was heard of the case, the public officials were only 
bidding higher for more crime. It is no compliment to public 
authority when we have in all the cities of the country, walk- 
ing abroad, men and women notorious for criminality, un- 
whipped of justice. They are pointed out to you in the street 
day by day. There you find what are called the " fences," 
the men who stand between the thief and the honest man, 
sheltering the thief and at great price handing over the goods 
to the owner to whom they belong. There you will find those 
who are called the " skinners," the men who hover around 
"Wall street, with great sleight of hand in bonds and stocks. 
There you find the funeral thieves, the people who go and 
sit down and mourn with families and pick their pockets. And 
there you find the "confidence men," who borrow money 
of you because they have a dead child in the house and 
want to bury it, when they never had a house nor a 
family; or they want to go to England and get a large 
property there, and they want you to pay their way, and 
they will send the money back by the very next mail. 
There are the "harbor thieves," the "shoplifters," the 


''pickpockets," famous all over the cities. Hundreds of them 
with their faces in the " Eogues' Gallery," yet doing nothing 
for the last five or ten years hut defraud society and escape 
justice. When these people go unarrested and unpunished, 
it is putting a high premium upon vice, and saying to the 
young criminals of this country, " What a safe thing it is to 
be a great criminal." Let the law swoop upon them. Let 
it be known in this country that crime will have no quarter, 
that the detectives are after it, that the police club is being 
brandished, that the iron door of the prison is being opened, 
that tbe judge is ready to call on the case. Too great leniency 
to criminals is too great severity to society. When the 
President pardoned the wholesale dealer in obscene books he 
hindered the crusade against licentiousness; but when 
Governor Dix refused to let go Foster the assassin, who was 
condemned to the gallows, he grandly vindicated the laws of 
God and the dignity of the State of New York. 

Among the uprooting and devouring classes in our midst 
are the idle. Of course, I do not refer to the people who are 
getting old, or to the sick, or to those who cannot get work; 
but I tell you to look out for those athletic men and women 
who will not work. When the French nobleman was asked 
why he kept busy when he had so large a property, he said, 
" I keep on engraving so I may not hang myself." I do not 
care who the man is, he cannot afford to be idle. It is from 
the idle classes that the criminal classes are made up. 
Character, like water, gets putrid if it stands still too long. 
Who can wonder that in this world, where there is so much 
to do, and all the hosts of earth and heaven and hell are 
plunging into the conflict, and angels are flying, and God is 
at work, and the universe is a-quake with the marching and 
counter marching, that God lets His indignation fall upon a 
man who chooses idleness? I have watched these do-nothings 
who spend their time stroking their beard, and retouching 
their toilette, and criticising industrious people, and pass 


was one man during those years that got one hundred and 
twenty-eight thousand dollars in one year for serving the 
public. In a few years it was estimated that there were fifty 
millions of public treasure squandered. In those times the 
criminal had only to wink to the judge, or his lawyer would 
wink for him, and the question was decided for the defend- 
ant. Of the eight thousand people arrested in that city in 
one year, only three thousand were punished. These little 
matters were " fixed up," while the interests of society were 
"fixed down." You know as well as I that a criminal who 
escapes only opens the door for other criminalities. When 
the two pickpockets snatched the diamond pin from the 
Brooklyn gentleman in a Broadway stage, and the villains 
were arrested, and the trial was set down for the General 
Sessions, and then the trial never came, and never anything 
more was heard of the case, the public officials were only 
bidding higher for more crime. It is no compliment to public 
authority when we have in all the cities of the country, walk- 
ing abroad, men and women notorious for criminality, un- 
whipped of justice. They are pointed out to you in the street 
day by day. There you find what are called the " fences," 
the men who stand between the thief and the honest man, 
sheltering the thief and at great price handing over the goods 
to the owner to whom they belong. There you will find those 
who are called the " skinners," the men who hover around 
Wall street, with great sleight of hand in bonds and stocks. 
There you find the funeral thieves, the people who go and 
sit down and mourn with families and pick their pockets. And 
there you find the "confidence men," who borrow money 
of you because they have a dead child in the house and 
want to bury it, when they never had a house nor a 
family; or they want to go to England and get a large 
property there, and they want you to pay their way, and 
they will send the money back by the very next mail. 
There are the "harbor thieves," the "shoplifters," the 


"pickpockets," famous all over the cities. Hundreds of them 
with their faces in the " Eogues' Gallery," yet doing nothing 
for the last five or ten years but "defraud society and escape 
justice. When these people go unarrested and unpunished, 
it is putting a high premium upon vice, and saying to the 
young criminals of this country, " What a safe thing it is to 
be a great criminal." Let the law swoop upon them. Let 
it be known in this country that crime will have no quarter, 
that the detectives are after it, that the j>olice club is being 
brandished, that the iron door of the prison is being opened, 
that the judge is ready to call on the case. Too great leniency 
to criminals is too great severity to society. When the 
President pardoned the wholesale dealer in obscene books he 
hindered the crusade against licentiousness; but when 
Governor Dix refused to let go Foster the assassin, who was 
condemned to the gallows, he grandly vindicated the laws of 
God and the dignity of the State of New York. 

Among the uprooting and devouring classes in our midst 
are the idle. Of course, I do not refer to the people who are 
getting old, or to the sick, or to those who cannot get work; 
but I tell you to look out for those athletic men and women 
who will not work. When the French nobleman was asked 
why he kept busy when he had so large a property, he said, 
" I keep on engraving so I may not hang myself." I do not 
care who the man is, he cannot afford to be idle. It is from 
the idle classes that the criminal classes are made up. 
Character, like water, gets putrid if it stands still too long. 
Who can wonder that in this world, where there is so much 
to do, and all the hosts of earth and heaven and hell are 
plunging into the conflict, and angels are flying, and God is 
at work, and the universe is a-quake with the marching and 
counter marching, that God lets His indignation fall upon a 
man who chooses idleness? I have watched these do-nothings 
who spend their time stroking their beard, and retouching 
their toilette, and criticising industrious people, and pass 



their days and nights in bar-rooms and club-houses, lounging 
and smoking and chewing and card-playing. They are not 
only useless, but they are dangerous. How hard it is for 
them to while away the hours. 

Alas ! For them, if they do not know how to while away 
an hour, what will they do when they have all eternity on 
their hands? These men for a while smoke the best cigars, 
and wear the best broadcloth, and move in the highest 


spheres; but I have noticed that very soon they come down 
to the prison, the almshouse, or stop at the gallows. 

The police stations of this cluster of cities furnish annually 
two hundred thousand lodgings. For the most part, these 
two hundred thousand lodgings are furnished to able-bodied 
men and women — people as able to work as you and I are. 
When they are received no longer at one police station, 
because they are " repeaters," they go to some other station, 
and so they keep moving around. The}- get their food at 
house doors, stealing what they can lay their hands on in 
the front basement while the servant is spreading the bread 
in the back basement. They will not work. Time and 
again, in the country districts, they have wanted hundreds 
and thousands of laborers. These men will not go. They 
do not want to work. I have tried them. I have set them 
to sawing wood in my cellar, to see Avhether they wanted to 
work. I offered to pay them well for it. I have heard the 
saw going for about three minutes, and then I went down, 
and lo, the wood, but no saw! They are the pest of society, 
and they stand in the way of the Lord's poor, who ought to 
be helped, and will be helped. While there are thousands 
of industrious men who cannot get any work, these men who 
do not want any work come in and make that plea. I am 
in favor of the restoration of the old-fashioned whipping-post 
for just this one class of men who will not work; sleejiing 
at night at public expense in the station house ; during the 
day, getting their food at your doorstep. Imprisonment does 
not scare them. They woidd like it. Blackwell's Island or 
Sing Sing would be a comfortable home for them. They 
woidd have no objection to the almshouse, for they like thin 
soup, if they cannot get mock-turtle. I propose this for them : 
on one side of them put some healthy work ; on the other 
side put a raw hide, and let them take their choice. I like 
for that class of people the scant bill of fare that Paul wrote 
out for the Thessalonian loafers: "If any work not, neither 



should be eat." By what law of God or man is it right that 
you and I should toil day in and day out, until our hands are 
blistered and our arms ache and our brain gets numb, and 
then be called upon to support what in the United States are 
about two million loafers ! They are a very dangerous class. 
Let the public authorities keep their eyes on them. 

Among the uprooting classes I place the oppressed poor. 
Poverty to a certain extent is chastening; but after that, when 
it drives a man to the wall, and he hears his children cry 
in vain for bread, it sometimes makes him desperate. I 
think that there are thousands of honest men lacerated into 
vagabondism. There are men crushed under burdens for 
which they are not half paid. "While there is no excuse for 
criminality, even in oppression, I state it as a simple fact 
ohat much of the scoundrelism of the community is conse- 
quent upon ill-treatment. There are many men and women 
battered and bruised and stung until the hour of despair has 
come, and they stand with the ferocity of a wild beast which, 
pursued until it can run no longer, turns round, foaming and 
bleeding, to fight -the hounds. 

There is a vast underground city life that is appalling and 
shameful. It wallows and steams with putrefaction. You 
go down the stairs, which are wet and decayed with filth, and 
at the bottom you find the poor victims on the floor, cold, 
sick, three-fourths dead, slinking into a still darker corner 
under the gleam of the lantern of the police. There has 
not been a breath of fresh air in that room for five years, 
literally. The broken sewer empties its contents upon them, 
and they lie at night in the swimming filth. There they are, 
men, women, children; blacks, whites; Mary Magdalen 
without her repentance, and Lazarus without his God! 
These are the "dives" into which the pickpockets and the 
thieves go, as well as a great many who would like a different 
life but cannot get it. These plnces are the sores of the city, 
which bleed perpetual corruption. They are the underlying 



volcano that threatens us with a Caraccas earthquake. It 
rolls and roars and surges and heaves and rocks and blas- 
phemes and dies. And there are only two outlets for it: the 
police court and the Potter's Field. In other words, they 
must either go to prison or to hell. 0, you never saw it, you 
say. You never will see it until on the day when these 


staggering wretches shall come up in the light of the judg- 
ment throne, and while all hearts are being revealed God will 
ask you what you did to help them. 

There is another layer of poverty and destitution, not so 


squalid, but almost as helpless. You hear the incessant 
wailing for bread and clothes and fire. Their eyes are sunken. 
Their cheek-bones stand out. Their hands are damp with 
slow consumption. Their flesh is puffed up with dropsies. 
Their breath is like that of a charnel-house. They hear the 
roar of the wheels of fashion over head, and the gay laughter 
of men and maidens, and wonder why God gave to others 
so much and to them so little. Some of them thrust into an 
infidelity like that of the poor German girl who, when told 
in the midst of her wretchedness that God was good, she said: 
"No, no good God. Just look at me. No good God." 

In this cluster of cities, whose cry of want I interpret, 
there are said to be, as far as I can figure it up from the 
reports, about two hundred and ninety thousand honest poor 
who are dependent upon individual, city and State charities. 
If all their voices could come up at once, it would be a groan 
that would shake the foundations of the city, and bring all 
earth and heaven to the rescue. But, for the most part, it 
suffers unexpressed. It sits in silence, gnashing its teeth, 
and sucking the blood of its own arteries, waiting for tho 
judgment day. 0, I should not wonder if on that day it 
would be found out that some of us had some things that, 
belonged to them; some extra garment which might have 
made them comfortable in these cold days; some bread 
thrust into the ash-barrel that might have appeased their 
hunger for a little while; some wasted candle or gas-jet that 
might have kindled up their darkness ; some fresco on the 
ceiling that would have given them a roof ; some jewel which, 
brought to that orphan girl in time, might have kept her 
from being crowded off the precipices of an unclean life; 
some New Testament that would have told them of Him who 
" came to seek and save that which was lost." 0, this wave 
of vagrancy and hunger and nakedness that dashes against 
our front door-step; I wonder if you hear it and see it as 
much as I hear it and see it. I have been almost frenzied 
with the perpetual cry for help from all classes and 


from all nations, knocking, knocking, ringing, ringing, 
until I dare not have more than one decent pair of shoes, 
nor more than one decent coat, nor more than one decent 
hat, lest in the last day it be found that I have something 
that belongs to them, arid Christ shall turn to me and say: 
"Inasmuch as ye did it not to these, ye did it not to Me." If 
the roofs of all the houses of destitution could be lifted so 
we could look down into them just as God looks, whose 
nerves would be strong enough to stand it? And yet there 
they are. The forty-five .thousand sewing-women in these 
three cities, some of them in hunger and cold, working night 
after night, until sometimes the blood spurts from nostril and 
lip. How well their grief was voiced by that despairing 
woman who stood by her invalid husband and invalid child, 
and said to the city missionary: "I am down-hearted. 
Everything's against us; and then there are other things." 
" What other things? " said the city missionary. "0," she 
replied, "my sin." "What do you mean by that?" 
"Well," she said, " I never hear or see anything good. It's 
work from Monday morning to Saturday night, and then 
when Sunday comes I can't go out, and I walk the floor, and 
it makes me tremble to think that I have got to meet God. 
0, sir, it's so hard for us. We have to work so, and then 
we have so much trouble, and then we are getting along so 
poorly; and see this wee little thing growing weaker and 
weaker; and then to think we are getting no nearer to God, 
but floating away from Him. 0, sir, I do wish I was ready 
to die." 

I should not wonder if they had a good deal better time 
than we in the future, to make up for the fact that 
they had such a bad time here. It would be just like Jesus 
to say: "Come up and take the highest seats. You suf- 
fered with Me on earth ; now be glorified with me in 
heaven." thou weeping One of Bethany! thou dying 
One of the cross ! Have mercy on the starving, freezing, 
homeless poor of these great cities! 


I want you to know who are the up-rooting classes of 
society. I want you to be more discriminating in your char- 
ities. I want your hearts open with generosity, and your 
hands open with charity. I want you to he made the sworn 
friends of all city evangelization, and all newsboys' lodging 
houses, and all Children's Aid Societies. Aye, I want you 
to send the Dorcas Society all the cast-off clothing, that, 
under the skillful manipulation of our wives and mothers 
and sisters and daughters, these garments may be fitted on 
the cold, bare feet, and on the shivering limbs of the desti- 
tute. I should not wonder if that hat that you give should 
come back a jeweled coronet, or if that garment that you 
this week hand out from your wardrobe should mysteriously 
be whitened, and somehow wrought into the Saviour's own 
robe, so in the last day He would run His hand over it, and 
say: " I was naked, and ye clothed Me." That would be 
putting your garments to glorious uses. 

I think in the contrast you will see how very kindly 
God has dealt with you in your comfortable homes, at your 
well-filled tables, and at the warm registers, look at the 
round faces of your children, and then at the review of 
God's goodness to you, and then go to your room and lock 
the door, and kneel down and say: " Lord, I have been 
an ingrate; make me Thy child. Lord, there are so many 
hungry and unclad and unsheltered to-day, I thank Thee 
that all my life Thou hast taken such good care of me. 
Lord, there are so many sick and crippled children to-day, I 
thank Thee mine are well, some of them on earth, some of 
them in heaven. Thy goodness, Lord, breaks me down. 
Take me once and forever. Sprinkled as I was many years 
ago at the altar, while my mother held me, now I consecrate 
my soul to Thee in a holier baptism of repenting tears. 
" • For simiers, Lord, Tliou cam'st to bleed, 
And I'm a sinner vile indeed; 
Lord, I believe Thy grace is free, 
O magnify that grace in me.' " 




Since the armies of civilization and Christianity started 
on their march, they have not fallen back an inch. There 
have been regiments cowardly, which have retreated and 
surrendered to the enemy, just as in all armies there are 
those unworthy the standard they carry; but the great host 
of God has been answering to the command given at the 
start of, " Forward, march! " 

Have the entertainments and recreations of the world 
kept abreast in this grand march of the ages? Are the 
novels of our day superior to those that are past? Is the 
dance of this decade an improvement upon the dance of 
other decades? Are the opera houses rendering grander 
music than that which they rendered in other times? Are 
parlor games more healthful than they used to be? Are the 
theaters advancing in moral tone? Mark you, I am not to 
discuss whether the theater is right or wrong. I am not 
to make wholesale attack upon tragedians and comedians. 
There are a hundred questions in regard to the theater that 
might be asked which I shall not answer, the most of them 
having been answered at some other time by me. You say 
that Henry Irving and Edwin Booth and Joseph Jefferson 
are great actors, and are honorable men. I believe it. The 
question that I am to discuss is : Are theaters advancing in 
high moral tone? 

There are three or four reasons for answering this ques- 
tion in the negative, and the first is the combined and 
universal testimony of all the secular newspapers of the land 
that are worth anything. There is not a secular newspaper 




of any power in the United States which has not within the 
past few years, both in editorial and reportorial column, 
reprehended the styles of play most frequent. It is con- 


trary to the financial interests of the secular newspaper 
severely to criticise the playhouse, because from it comes the 
largest advertising patronage, larger than from any other 



source, thousands and tens of thousands of dollars a year. 
When, therefore, the secular newspapers of the land, con- 
trary to their financial interests, severely criticise the play- 
house for imbecile and impure spectacular, their testimony is 
to me conclusive. On the negative side of this question I 
roll up all the respectable printing-presses of America. 

Another reason for answering this question in the nega- 
tive is the depraved advertisements on the bulletin boards 


and on the board fences and in the show windows, from 
ocean to ocean. I take it for granted that those advertise- 
ments are honest, and that night by night are depicted the 
scenes there advertised. Are those the scenes to which 
parents take their sons and daughters, and young men their 
affianced? Would you allow in your parlor such brazen 
indecency enacted as is dramatized every night in some of 
the theaters of America, unless their advertisements be a 
libel? If the pictures be genuine, the scenes are damnable. 


That which ;s wrong in a parlor is wrong on a stage. 
It ought to require just as much completeness of apparel to 
be honorable in one place as to be honorable in another. If 
fathers and mothers take their sons and daughters to see 
such Sodomite lack of robe, and then, in after time, the 
plowshare of libertinism and profligacy should go through 
their own household, they will get what tbey deserve. It 
seems as if, having obtained a surplus of sanctity during the 
Lenten services, right after Easter, all through the United 
States, the streets become a picture gallery which rival the 
museums of Pompeii, which are kept under lock and key. 
Where are the mayors of tbe cities, and the judges of the 
courts, and tbe police, that they allow such things? When 
our cities are blotched with these depraved advertisements is 
it not some reason why we should think that the theaters of 
this country are not very rapidly advancing toward millennia] 

Another reason for answering this question in the nega- 
tive is the large importation of bad morals from foreign 
countries to the American stage. France sent one of her 
queens of the stage to this country, her infamy, instead of a 
shame, a boast. Never more a popular actress on the Amer- 
ican stage, and never one more dissolute. Thousands and 
tens of thousands of professed Christian men and women 
went and burned incense before that goddess of debauchery. 
England, too, has sent her delectable specimens of ineffable 
sweetness commended by foreign princes, not as good as 
their mother. When I take into consideration this large 
importation of bad morals from foreign ports, I come to the 
conclusion that the American theaters are not, as a general 
thing, advancing in moral tone. 

Another reason for answering this question in the nega- 
tive is the fact that the vast majority of the plays of the day 
are degenerate. I will not name many of them, because I 
might advertise that which I condemn, and the mere mention 


of them would be a perfidy. If I mention any they must he 
those that are a little past, but which may come back again 
when the American taste wants a change of carrion. Take 
the plays of the last fifteen years, and I will admit that one- 
tenth of them are unobjectionable, but the nine-tenths of 
them are unfit to be looked at by the families of America. 
Subtract from them the libertinism and the domestic intrigue 
and the innuendo and the vulgarity and marital scandalism, 
and you would leave those jolays powerless in the dramatic 

Put side by side the plays of the time of Macready and 
the elder Booth and the modern plays, and you will find 
there has been an awful decadence. I have not seen those 
plays, but I have taken the testimony of authentic witnesses, 
and I have seen the skillful analyses by critics — a score of 
critics — among them such men as Dr. Buckley, of New York, 
men who have read scores of the plays and who can report 
in regard to them — I take the testimony of those who wit- 
nessed the plays and then I like the testimony of the critics 
who like the theater and who do not like it, I put them all 
together, and I find a moral decadence. 

If you who took your families to see East Lynne will now 
in your cooler moments read the manuscript of that play — 
read the printed play, and go through the fetid and malodor- 
ous chapters in which dishonest womanhood is chased from 
iniquity to iniquity, you will be able to judge for yourself 
whether that is an improved drama. You might as well go 
into the grog-shop of the village hotel and sit down among 
the bevy of village loafers expecting to get any moral eleva- 
tion as to get any moral elevation from a play like the 
"Ticket of Leave Man," full of villainous pictures and low 
slang. The play entitled "A New Way to Pay Old Debts" 
is a eulogy, a practical eulogy on deception practised on the 
bad, and men and women never come from seeing that play 
as pure as when they went in. "She Stoops to Conquer" is 


as full of moral miasma as the Eoman Carnpagna is full of 

FERDINAND AND MIRANDA.— Tempest. Act. in, Scene I. 

typhus fever on a summer night. You may write Oliver 


Goldsmith above it and beneath it and at the close of each 
act, but you can not cover up the profane and the salacious. 
The "School for Scandal" is rotten clear through with lasciv- 
iousness, and if a man should come into your house and 
take that play from under his arm and read it to your family, 
all the bones that were left in his body unbroken would not 
be worth mentioning. 

But who could mention all the Don Cassars, and the bar- 
maids, and the Peg Womngtons, and the Courtleighs, and 
the Lady Gay Spankers, and the poltroons, and the scape- 
graces, and the people minus all excellency plus all abomina- 
tion, who gather men, women, boys, and girls by tens of 
thousands every night in the lazaretto of the average Ameri- 
can theater. It is estimated that there are one thousand 
boys in Brooklyn every night breathing that pestilence. 
Hear it, ye whose sons stay out until 11 o'clock at night and 
y»u do not know where they are ! Hear it, ye philanthropists 
who want this generation better than the generations that 
have gone by! 

Once in a while a great tragedian will render King Lear 
or Merchant of Venice or Hamlet before entranced audiences, 
but those plays as compared with the imbecile and depraved 
plays on the American stage to-day are as the few drops of 
pure blood to the bad blood in a man who has passed out 
from yellow fever into Asiatic cholera and is now winding up 
with first-class small-pox. Now, I say the majority of the 
plays of this country being bad in their influence, I have a 
right to conclude that the theaters of America, take them as 
an average, are not coming to any very large moral improve- 

Now, I demand that as men and women who love the best 
interests of society that we band together to snatch the drama 
from its debased surroundings. I demand that as philanthro- 
pists and Christians we rescue the drama. > 

The drama is not the theater. The theater is a human 


institution. The drama is a literary expression of something 

PORTIA AND SHYLOCK.— Mekchant of Venice. Act. IV. Scene I. 
which God implanted in nearly all of our souls. People talk 


as though it were something built up entirely outside of us 
by the Congreves and the Sheridans and the Shakespeares of 
literature. Oh! no. It is an echo of something divinely 
put within us. You see it in your little child three or four 
years of age with the dolls and the cradles and the carts. 
You see it ten years after in the parlor charades. You see 
it after in the impersonations at the Academy of Music. You 
see it on Thanksgiving Day, when we decorate the house of 
God with the fruits and harvests of the earth, that spectac- 
ular arousing our gratitude. We see it on Easter morn, when 
we spell out on the walls of the house of God in flowers the 
words: "He is risen," that spectacular arousing our emotion. 
Every parent likes it, and demonstrates it when he goes to 
see the school exhibition with its dialogues and its droll 
costumes. It is evidenced in the torchlight procession amid 
great political excitement, that torchlight procession only a 
dramatization of the political principles proclaimed. 

Dithyrambic drama, romantic drama, sentimental drama, 
all an echo of the human soul. Farquhar and Congreve put 
in English literature only that which was in the English 
heart. Thespis and Eschylus dramatized only that which 
was in the Greek heart; Seneca and Plautus dramatized only 
that which was in the Eoman heart; Eacine and Alfieri 
dramatized only that which was in the French and the Italian 
heart; Shakespeare dramatized only that which was in the 
world's heart. But this divine principle is not to be despoiled 
and dragged into the service of sin. It is our business to 
rescue it, to lift it up, to bring it back, to exalt it. Will you 
suppress it? You might as well try to suppress its Creator. 
Just as we cultivate the beautiful and the sublime in taste by 
bird-haunted glen and roystering stream and cascade let down 
over moss-covered rocks, and the day setting up its banners 
of victory in the east, and passing out the gates of the west, 
setting everything on fire, the Austerlitz and the Waterloo of 
a July thunder-storm blazing its batteries into a sultry after- 


noon, and the round tear of the world wet on the cheek of 
the night — as by these things we try to culture a taste for the 
sublime and the beautiful, so we are to culture this dramatic 
taste by staccato passages in literature, by antithesis and 
synthesis, by all tragic passages in human life. 

We are to take this dramatic element and we are to 
harness it for God. Because it has been taken into the 
service of sin is nothing against it. You might as well 
denounce music because in Corinth and Herculaneum it was 
used to demonstrate and set forth depravity and turpitude. 
Shall we not enthrone music on the organ because music 
again and again has been trampled under the foot of impious 
dance? Because there are pollutions in art shall we turn 
back upon Church's " Niagara," or Powers' " Greek Slave," 
or Rubens' "Descent from the Cross," or Michael Angelo's 
" Last Judgment?" Because these things have been dragged 
into the service of sin is the very reason that you and I should 
take the drama out and harness it for God and the truth. 
You Sabbath-school teachers want more of the dramatic ele- 
ment in your work, in your recital of the Bible scene, in the 
anecdote that you tell, in the descriptive gesture, in the 
impersonation of the character you present — you want more 
of the dramatic element. I can tell in looking over an 
audience of Sabbath- school children in which teacher the 
dramatic element is dominant, and in which the didactic 
element is dominant. 

Oh, there are hundreds of people who are trying to do 
good. Have less of the didactic element, and have more of 
the dramatic. The tendency in our time is to drone religion, 
to moan religion, to croak religion, to supulcherize religion, 
when it ought to be put in an animated and spectacular man- 

I say to all those young men who are preparing for the 
Gospel ministry, go to your libraries and you will find that 
those who bring most souls to God, bring most into the 


kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ, are dramatic. We want 
in all oiir work to freshen up. We want to freshen up, you 
in your sphere and I in mine. Great discussions in religious 
newspapers about why people do not come to church. I will 
tell you. You cannot take the old hackneyed phrases that 
have come snoring down through the centuries and arrest the 
attention of the masses. People in religious work do not 
want the sham flowers bought in a millinery shop, but the 
japonicas wet with the morning dew. They do not want the 
bones of the extinct megatherium of the past, but the living 
reindeer caught last August at the edge of Schroon Lake. 
We need, all of us, to drive out of our religious work the 
drowsy and the tedious and the didactic, and bring in the 
brightness and the vivacity and the holy sarcasm and the 
sanctified wit and epigrammatic power, and the blood-red 
earnestuess, and we will get it through the sanctified drama. 
But let me say to young men, do not let your fond- 
ness for the dramatic lead you into sin. While God has 
given you this faculty, cultivate it, and cultivate it in the 
right direction. Admire it when it is used for God. Abhor 
it when it is used for sin. We do not try to suppress it in 
you. Do not misrepresent us. We would have it directed ; 
we would have it harnessed for multiplicand usefulness. In 
nowise suppress it. Gather all your faculties, and this 
among the others, and consecrate them to the Lord Jesus 



I wish to to draw the line between right and wrong 
amusements. Indeed, it is a line drawn by the hand of 
God, and reaching from eternity to eternity. On one side of 
the line it is all right, and on the other side of the line it is all 
wrong. I have been arguing against the monster of iniquity, 
the average American theater, as it was and is. I pass on 
to lay down certain principles by which you may judge in 
regard to any amusement or recreation, finding out for your- 
self whether it is right or whether it is wrong. 

I remark, in the first place, that you can judge of the 
moral character of any amusement by its healthful result, or 
by its baleful reaction. There are people who seem made up 
of hard facts. They are a combination of multiplication 
tables and statistics. If you show them an exquisite picture, 
they will begin to discuss the pigments involved in the color- 
ing. If you show them a beautiful rose, they will submit it 
to a botanical analysis, which is only the ^»osi mortem exam- 
ination of a flower. They have no rebound in their nature. 
They never do anything more than smile. There are no 
great tides of feeling surging up from the depths of their 
soul, in billow after billow of reverberating laughter. They 
seems as if nature had built them by contract, and made a 
bungling job out of it. But, blessed be God, there are jDeople 
in the world who have bright faces, and whose life is a song, 
an anthem, a paean of victory. Even their troubles are like 
the vines that crawl up the side of a great tower, on the top 
of which the sunlight sits, and the soft airs of summer hold 
perpetual carnival. They are the people you like to have 



coine to your house; they are the people I like to have come 
to rny house. If you but touch the hem of their garments, 
you are healed. 

Now, it is these exhilarant and sympathetic and warm- 
hearted people that are the most tempted to pernicious 
amusements. In proportion as a ship is swift, it wants a 
strong helmsman; in proportion as a horse is gay, it wants 
a stout driver; and these people of exuberant nature will do 
well to look at the reaction of all their amusements. If an 
amusement sends you home at night nervous, so that you 
can not sleep, and you rise up in the morning, not because 
you are slept out, but because your duty drags you from your 
slumbers, you have been where you ought not to have been. 
There are amusements that send a man next day to his work 
bloodshot, yawning, stupid, nauseated; and they are wrong 
kinds of amusement. There are entertainments that give a 
man disgust with the drudgery of life, with tools because 
they are not swords, with working aprons because they are 
not robes, v, T ith cattle because they are not infuriated bulls 
of the arena. If any amusement send you home longing for 
a life of romance and thrilling adventure, love that takes 
poison and shoots itself, moonlight adventures and hair- 
breadth escapes, you may depend upon it that you are the 
sacrificed victim of unsanctified pleasure. Our recreations 
are intended to build us up; and if they pull us down as to 
our moral or as to our physical strength, you may come to 
the conclusion that they are in the clas3 spoken of as ob- 

Still further: those amusements are wrong which lead 
you into expenditure beyond your means. Money spent in 
recreation is not thrown away. It is all folly for us to come 
from a place of amusement feeling that we have wasted our 
money and time. You may by it have made an investment 
worth more than the transaction that yielded you a hundred 
or a thousand dollars. But how many properties have been 


riddled by costly amusements? The table has been robbed 



BENEDICK AND BEATRICE.— Much Ado About Nothing. Act IV. 
Scene I. 

to pay the club. The champagne has cheated the children's 


wardrobe. The carousing party has burned up the boy's 
primer. The table-cloth of the corner saloon is in debt to 
the wife's faded dress. Excursions that in a day make a tour 
around a whole month's wages; ladies whose lifetime busi- 
ness it is to " go shopping;" bets on horses and a box at the 
theater have their counterparts in uneducated children, bank- 
ruptcies that shock the money market and appall the Church, 
and that send drunkenness staggering across tbe richly figured 
carpet of the mansion, and dashing into the mirror, and 
drowning out the carol of music with the whooping of bloated 
sons come home to break their old mother's heart. 

I saw a beautiful home, where the bell rang violently late 
at night. The son had been off in sinful indulgences. His 
comrades were bringing him home. They carried him to the 
door. They rang the bell at one o'clock in the morning. 
Father and mother came down. They were waiting for the 
wandering son, and then the comrades, as soon as the door 
was opened, threw the prodigal headlong into door- way, cry- 
ing: " There he is, drunk as a fool. Ha, ha! " When men. 
go into amusements that they can not afford, they first borrow 
what they can not earn, and then they steal what they can 
not borrow. First, they go into embarrassment, and then 
into lying, and then into theft; and when a man gets as far 
on as that, he does not stop short of the penitentiary. There 
is not a prison in the land where there are not victims of 
unsanctified amusements. 

How often I have had parents come to me and ask me to 
go and beg their boy off from crimes that he had committed 
against his employer — the taking of funds out of the em- 
ployer's till, or the disarrangements of the accounts. Why, 
he had salary enough to pay all lawful expenditure, but not 
enough salary to meet his sinful amusements. And again 
and again I have gone and implored for the young man, 
sometimes, alas! the petition all unavailing. Merchant, is 
there a disarrangement in your accounts ? Is there a leakage 


in your money-drawer? Did not the cash account come out 
right last night? I will tell you. There is a young man in 
your store wandering off into bad amusements. The salary 
you give him may meet lawful expenditures, but not the sinful 
indulgences in which he has entered, and he takes by theft 
that which you do not give him in lawful salary. 

How brightly the path of unrestrained amusement opens. 
The young man says : "Now I am off for a good time. 
Never mind economy. I'll get money somehow. What 
splendid acting in this theater to-night! What a fine road! 
What a beautiful day for a ride ! Crack the whip and over 
the turnpike! Come, boys, fill high your glasses! Drink! 
Long life, health, plenty of rides just like this!" Hard- 
working men hear the clatter of the hoofs, and look up, and 
say: "Why, I wonder where those fellows get their money 
from. We have to toil and drudge. They do nothing." To 
these gay men life is a thrill and an excitement. They stare 
at other people, and in turn are stared at. The watch-chain 
jingles. The cup foams. The cheeks flush. The eyes flash. 
The midnight hears their guffaw. They swagger. They 
jostle decent men off the sidewalk. They take the name of 
God in vain. They parody the hymn they learned at their 
mother's knee; and to all pictures of coming disaster they 
cry out "who cares!" and to the counsel of some Christian 
friend, "Who are you!" Passing along the street some 
night, you hear a shriek in a grog-shop, the rattle of the 
watchman's club, the rush of the police. What is the matter 
now? 0, this reckless young man has been killed in a grog- 
shop fight. Carry him home to his father's house. Parents 
will come down and wash his wounds, and close his eyes in 
death. They forgive him all he ever did, though he can not 
in his silence ask it. The prodigal has got home at last. 
Mother will go to her little garden, and get the sweetest flow- 
ers, and twist them into a chaplet for the silent heart of the 
wayward boy, and push back from the bloated brow the long 


locks that were once her pride : And the air will be rent with 
the father's cry, "0, my son, rny son, my poor son! Would 
God I had died for thee, 0, my son, my son!" 

I go further, and say those are unchristian amusements 
which become the chief business of a man's life. Life is an 
earnest thing. Whether we were born in a palace or a hovel ; 
whether we are affluent or pinched, we have to work. If you 
do not sweat with toil, you will sweat with disease. You 
have a soul that is to be transfigured amid the pomp of a 
judgment-day; and after the sea has sung its last chant, and 
the mountain shall have come down in an avalanche of rock, 
you will live and think and act, high on a throne where 
seraphs sing, or deep in a dungeon where demons howl. In 
a world where there is so much to do for yourselves, and so 
much to do for others, God pity that man who has nothing 
to do. 

Your sports are merely means to an end. They are alle- 
viations and helps. The arm of toil is the only arm strong 
enough to bring up the bucket out of the deep well of 
pleasure. Amusement is only the bower where business and 
philanthropy rest while on their way to stirring achievements. 
Amusements are merely the vines that grow about the anvil 
of toil, and the blossoming of the hammers. Alas for the 
man who spends his life in laboriously doing nothing, his 
days in hunting up lounging-places and loungers, his nights 
in seeking out some gas-lighted foolery! The man who 
always has on his sporting jacket, ready to hunt for game in 
the mountain or fish in the brook, with no time to pray, or 
work, or read, is not so well off as the greyhound that runs 
by his side, or the fly-bait with which he whips the stream. 

A man who does not work does not know how to play. 
If God had intended us to do nothing but laugh, we would 
have been all mouth; but He has giyen us shoulders with 
which to lift, and hands with which to work, and brains with 
with which to think. The amusements of life are merely the 


orchestra playing while the great tragedy of life plunges 
through its five acts — infancy, childhood, manhood, old age, 
and death. Then exit the last chance for mercy. Enter the 
overwhelming realities of an eternal world ! 

I go further, and say that all those amusements are wrong, 
which lead into bad company. If you belong to an organi- 
zation where you have to associate with the intemperate, 
with the unclean, with the abandoned, however well they 
may be dressed, in the name of God quit it. They will 
despoil your nature. They will undermine your moral char- 
acter. They will drop you when you are destroyed. They 
will give not one cent to support your children when you are 
dead. They will weep not one tear at your burial. They 
will chuckle over your damnation. 

0, beware of evil companionship. "Eejoice, young 
man, in thy youth ; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days 
of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in 
the sight of thine eyes; but know thou that for all these 
things God will bring thee into judgment." 

I want to give you one more rule. Any amusement that 
gives you a distaste for domestic life is bad. How many 
bright domestic circles have been broken up by sinful pleas- 
uring ! The father went off, the mother went off, the child 
went off. There are to-day the fragments before me of a 
great many blasted households. 0, if you have wandered 
away, I would like to charm you back by the sound of that 
one word "home." Do you not know that you have but 
little more time to give to domestic welfare? Do you not 
see, father, that your children are soon to get out into the 
world, and all the influence for good you are to have over 
them you are to have now? Death will break in on your 
conjugal relations, and alas, if you have to stand over the 
grave of one who perished from your neglect! 

I saw a wayward husband standing at the death-bed o( 
his Christian wife, and I saw her point to a ring on her 



finger, and heard her say to husband "Do you see that 
ring?" He replied, "Yes, I see it." "Well," said she, "do 
you remember who put it there?" "Yes," said he," "I put 
it there;" and all the past seemed to rush upon him. By the 
memory of that day when, in the presence of men and 
angels, you promised to be faithful in joy and in sorrow, in 
sickness aud in health; by the memory of those pleasant 


hours when you sat together in your new home talking of a 
bright future; by the cradle and the joyful hour when one 
life was spared and another given; by that sick-bed, when 
the little one lifted up the hands and called for help, and you 
knew he must die, and he put one arm around each of your 
necks and brought you very near together in that dying kiss; 
by the little grave that you never think of without a rush of 
tears ; by the family Bible, where, amidst stories of heavenly 


love, is the brief but expressive record of births and deaths ; 
by the neglects of the past, and by the agonies of the future; 
by a judgment-day, when husbands and wives, parents and 
children, in immortal groups, will stand to be caught up in 
shining array, or to shrink down into darkness; by all that, 
I beg you to give to home your best affections. I ask you 
the question that Gehazi asked of the Shunamite: "Is it 
well with thee? Is it well with thy husband? Is it well 
with thy child?" God grant that it may be everlastingly well. 

By these four or five rules I want you to try all amuse- 
ments, and I especially want you to try the American theater. 
It cannot stand the test. It is a war on home, it is a war on 
physical health, it is at war on man's moral nature. It is 
the broad avenue through which tens of thousands press into 
the grog-shop and the brothel. 0, Christian people, stand 
back from it. Do not say, "I go sometimes;" stand back 
from it. 

The Eev. Dr. Hatfield, of New York, once said to me, 
"I used to go to the theater when I was a young man. 
While I was in town, a Christian friend from the country 
came to the city. She was visiting at a friend's house. I 
went down to see her, and found that she had gone to the 
theater. I went to the theater. I got inside, and I looked, 
and there I saw her fascinated with an objectionable play, 
and I said, 'Is it possible? this Christian woman looking at 
such things as these!' although I was not a Christian man, I 
said, 'I'll never come to the theater again ;' and that was the 
last time I was ever there. The incongruity of a Christian 
at the theater drove me back from all such indulgences." 
They tell me that sometimes ministers of the Gospel go to 
such places. Let me tell you of one who went to a theater 
in Boston some years ago, and sat in the pit, with his hat 
drawn down over his eyes, studying elocution, and a ruffian 
recognized him. He bad not his hat drawn enough down, 
and the ruffian called him out by name, "Bev. Mr. So-and- 


So," and called it with a blasphemy, and concluded by say- 
ing, "Let us pray!" The attention of the whole audience 
was directed to him. What was the matter? Why did he 
sit with his hat drawn down over his eyes? He was ashamed 
to be there. He had no business to be there. A vast incon- 
gruity in the case of any Christian man, when he sits in the 
theater. The theater as it is now, unwashed and polluted, 
is every day becoming more polluted ; for I saw in some of 
the papers lately a statement of the fact that, in order to 
meet the pressure of these times, and more powerfully attract, 
the theaters are now presenting more indecent plays than 
ever. 0, stand back from it, Christian men and women. 
Before God, promise your own soul, promise the Church oi 
Christ, that you will never be seen in such places. 

It is not all of life to live. We were not sent into the 
world merely for gayeties and amusements. Are you pre- 
pared for the great future ? Hear you not the tolling of old 
Trinity and the tramp of the Seventh Eegiment, and see you 
not the carrying out of the chief magistrate of our neighbor- 
ing city? What does it all mean? A warning to the stout 
and the well; for he said, "lean endure anything." This 
morning the sunlight gilds his grave ! 0, men of the strong 
arm, and of the stout chest, and of the swarthy develop- 
ment, "Be ye also ready; for in such an hour as ye think 
not, the Son of man cometh." 

I read of a woman who had gone all the rounds of sinful 
amusement, and she came to die. She said, "I will die to- 
night at six o'clock." "0," they said, "I guess not, you 
don't seem to be sick." "I shall die at six o'clock, and my 
soul will be lost. I know it will be lost. I have sinned 
away my day of grace." The noon came. They desired to 
seek religious counsel. "0, no," she said, "it is of no use- 
My day is gone. I have been all the rounds of worldly 
pleasure, and it is too late. I shall die to-night at six 
o'clock, and my soul will be lost." The day wore away, and 


it came to four o'clock, and to five o'clock, and she cried out 
at five o'clock, "Destroyed spirits, ye shall not have me yet; 
it is not six, it is not six!" The moments went by and the 
shadows began to gather, and the clock struck six, and while 
it was striking her soul went. What hour God will call for 
you I do not know — whether six o'clock, to-night, or three 
o'clock this afternoon, or at one o'clock, or this moment. 
Sitting where you are, falling forward, or standing where 
you are, dropping down, where will you go to? I want to 
tell you that Christ died for your immortal soul, and that if 
you will repent, you may be saved. Choose Christ this day 
and live. 



I will not discuss the old question, Is dancing right or 
wrong? but I will discuss the question, Does dancing take too 
much place and occupy too much time in modern society? I 
hope to carry with me the earnest conviction of all thoughtful 
persons. You will admit, whatever you think of that style 
of amusement and exercise, that from many circles it has 
crowded out all intelligent conversation. You will also 
admit that it has made the condition of those who do not 
dance, either because they do not know how, or because they 
have not the health to endure it, or because through con- 
scientious scruples they must decline the exercise, very 
uncomfortable. You will also admit that it has passed in 
many cases from an amusement to a dissipation, and you 
are easily able to understand the bewilderment of the edu- 
cated Chinaman, who, standing in the brilliant circle where 
there was dancing going on four or five hours, and the guests 
seemed exhausted, turned to the proprietor of the house and 
said, "Why don't you allow your servants to do this for you?" 
You are also willing to admit that whatever be your idea of 
the old-fashioned square dance, and of many of the pro- 
cessional romps, in which I can see no evil, the round dance 
is administrative of evil and ought to be driven out of all 
respectable circles. I am by natural temperament and reli- 
gious theory opposed to the position taken by all those who 
are horified at playfulness on the part of the young, and who 
think that all questions are decided — questions of decency 
and morals — by the jjosition of the feet, while, on the other 
hand, I can see nothing but ruin, temporal and eternal, for 




those who go into the dissipations of social life, dissipations 
which have already despoiled thousands of young men and 
young women of all that is nohle and useful in life. 

Dancing is the graceful motion of the body adjusted by 
art to the sound and measures of musical instrument or of 


the human voice. All nations have danced. The ancients 
thought that Castor and Pollux taught the art to the Lace- 
daemonians. But whoever started it, all climes have adopted 
it. In ancient times they had the festal dance, the military 
dance, the mediatorial dance, the bacchanalian dance, and 
queens and lords swayed to and fro in the gardens, and the 
rough backwoodsman, with this exercise awakened the echo 
of the forest. There is something in the sound of lively 



music to evoke the movement of the hand and foot, whether 
cultured or uncultured. Passing down the street we uncon- 
sciously keep step to the sound of the brass band, while the 

Christian in church with his foot beats time while his soul 
rises upon some great harmony. While this is so in civilized 
lands, the red men of the forest have their scalp dances, their 
green-corn dances, their war dances. In ancient times the 


exercise was so utterly and completely depraved that the 
church anathematized it. The old Christian fathers expressed 
themselves most vehemently against it. St. Clirysostom says : 
" The feet were not given for dancing, but to walk modestly, 
not to leap impudently like camels." One of the dogmas of 
the ancient church reads: "A dance is the devil's posses- 
sion, and he that entereth into a dance entereth into his pos- 
session. As many paces as a man makes in dancing, so 
many paces does he make to hell." Elsewhere the old 
dogmas declared this: " The woman that singeth in the 
dance is the princess of the devil, and those that answer are 
her clerks, and the beholders are his friends, and the music 
are his bellows, and the fiddlers are the ministers of the 
devil. For as when hogs are strayed, if the hogsherd call 
one all assemble together, so when the devil calleth one woman 
to sing in the dance, or to play on some musical instrument, 
presently all the dancers gather together." This indiscrim- 
inate and universal denunciation of the exercise came from 
the fact that it was utterly and completely depraved. 

But we are not to discuss the customs of the olden 
times, but customs now. We are not to take the evidence of 
the ancient fathers, but our own conscience, enlightened by 
the Word of God, is to be the standard. Oh, bring no 
harsh criticism upon the young. I would not drive out from 
their soul all the hilarities of life. I do not believe that the 
inhabitants of ancient Wales, when they stepped to the sound 
of the rustic harp, went down to ruin. I believe God in- 
tended the young people to laugh and romp and play. I do 
not believe God would have put exuberance in the soul and 
exuberance in the body if He had not intended they should 
in some wise exercise it and demonstrate it. If a mother 
join hands with her children and cross the floor to the sound 
of music, I see no harm. If a group of friends cross and 
recross the room to the sound of piano well played, I see no 
harm. If a company, all of whom are known to host and 


hostess as reputable, cross and recross the room to the sound 
of musical instrument, I see no harm. I tried for a long 
while to see harm in it. I could not see any harm in it. I 
never shall see any harm in that. Our men need to be kept 
young, young for many years longer than they are kept 
young. Never since my boyhood days have I had more sym- 
pathy with the innocent hilarities of life than I have now. 
What though we have felt heavy burdens ! What though we 
have had to endure hard knocks ! Is that any reason why 
we should stand in the way of those who, unstung of life's 
misfortunes, are full of exhilaration and full of glee? 

God bless the young! They will have to wait many a 
long year before they hear me say anything that would 
depress their ardor or clip their wings or make them believe 
that life is hard and cold and repulsive. It is not. I tell 
them, judging from my own experience, that they will be 
treated a great deal better than they deserve. We have no 
right to grudge the innocent hilarities to the young. As we 
go on in years let us remember that we had our gleeful times ; 
let us be able to say, "We had our good times, let others 
have their good times." Let us willingly resign our place 
to those who are coming after us. I will cheerfully give 
them everything — my house, my books, my position in society, 
my heritage. After twenty, forty, fifty years we have been 
drinking out of the cup of this life, do not let us begrudge 
the passing of it that others may take a drink. But while 
all this is so, we can have no sympathy with sinful indul- 
gences. What are the dissipations of social life to-day, and 
what are the dissipations of the ball-room? In some cities 
and in some places reaching all the year round, in other 
places only in the summer time and at the watering-places. 
There are dissipations of social life that are cutting a very 
wide swathe with the sickle of death, and hundreds and 
thousands are going down under these influences, and my 
subject in application is as wide as the continent and as wide 




as Christendom. The whirlpool of social dissipation is draw- 
ing down some of the brightest craft that ever sailed the sea — ■ 
thousands and tens of thousands of the bodies and souls 
annually consumed in the conflagration of ribbons. 

Social dissipation is the abbettor of pride, it is the insti- 
gator of jealousy, it is the sacrificial altar of health, it is the 
denier of the soul, it is the avenue of lust and it is the curse 
of every town in America. Social dissipation. It may be 
hard to draw the line and say that this is right on the one 
side, and that is "wrong on the other side. It is not necessary 
that we do that, for God has put a throne in every man's 
soul, and I appeal to that throne. When a man does wrong 
he knows he does wrong, and when he does right he knows 
he does right, and to that throne that Almighty God lifted in 
the heart of every 
man and woman 
I appeal. As to 
the physical ruin 
wrought by the 
dissipations of so- 
cial life there can 
be no doubt. 
What may we 
expect of people 
who work all day 
and dance all 
night? After 
awhile they will 
be thrown on 
society nervous, 
exhausted imbe- 
ciles. These people who indulge in the suppers and the 
midnight revels and then go home in the cold unwrapped in 
limbs, will after awhile be found to have been written down 
in God's eternal records as suicides, as much suicides as if 




they had taken their life with a pistol, or a knife, or strych- 

How many people in America have stepped from the ball- 
room into the grave-yard? Consumptions and swift neural- 
gias are close on their track. Amid many of the glittering 
scenes of social life in America diseases stand right and left 
and balance and chain. The breath of the sepulchre floats 
up through the perfume, and the froth of Death's lip bub- 
bles up in the champagne. I am told that in some parts of 

this country, in 
some of the cit- 
ies, there are par- 
ents who have 
actually given up 
housekeeping and 
gone to boarding 
that they may 
give their time 
illimitably to so- 
cial dissipations. 
I have known 
such cases. I 
have known fam- 
ily after family 
blasted in that 
way. Father and 
mother turning 
their back upon 
all qniet culture 
and all the amen- 
ities of home, leading forth their entire family in the wrong 
direction. Annihilated, worse than annihilated — for there are 
some things worse than annihilation. I give you the history 
of more than one family in America when I say they went 
on in the dissipations of social life until the father dropped 



into a lower style of dissipation, and after awhile the son 
was tossed out into society a nonentity, and after awhile the 
daughter eloped with a French dancing-master, and after 
awhile the mother, getting on further and further in years, 
tries to hide the wrinkles but fails in the attempt, trying all 
the arts of the belle, an old flirt, a poor miserable butterfly 
without any wings. 

I tell you that the dissipations of social life in America, 
are despoiling the usefulness of a vast multitude of people. 
What do those people care about the fact that there are whole 
nations in sorrow and suffering and agony, when they have 
for consideration the more important question about the size 
of a glove or the tie of a cravat? Which one of them ever 
bound up the wounds of the hospital? Which one of them 
ever went out to care for the poor? Which of them do you 
find in the haunts of sin distributing tracts? They live on 
themselves, and it is very poor pasture. Oh ! what a belittling 
process to the human mind this everlasting question about 
dress, this discussion of fashionable infinitesimals, this group 
looking askance at the glass, wondering with an infinity of 
earnestness how that last geranium leaf does look — this 
shrivelling of a man's moral dignity until it is not observable 
to the naked eye, this Spanish inquisition of a tight shoe, 
this binding up of an immortal soul in a ruffle, this pitching 
off of an immortal nature over the rocks when God intended 
it for great and everlasting uplifting. You know as well as 
I do that the dissipations of social life in America to-day are 
destroying thousands and tens of thousands of people, and 
it is time that the pulpits lift their voice against them, for I 
prophesy the eternal misfortune of all those who enter the 
rivalry. When did the white, glistening boards of a dissi- 
pated ball-room ever become the road to 'heaven? When was 
a torch for eternity ever lighted at the chandelier of a dissi- 
pated scene? From a table spread after such an excited and 
desecrated scene who ever went home to pray? 


In my parish at Philadelphia there was a young woman 
brilliant as a spring morning. She gave her life to the world. 
She would come to religious meetings and under conviction 
would for a little while begin to pray, and then would rush 
off again into the discipleship of the world. She had all the 
world could offer of brilliant social position. One day a 
flushed and excited messenger asked me to hasten to her 
house, for she was dying. I entered the room. There were 
the physicians, there was the mother, there lay this disciple 
of the world. I asked her some questions in regard to the 
soul. She made no answer. I knelt down to pray. I rose 
again, and desiring to get some expression in regard to her 
eternal interests, I said : " Have you any hope ? " and then 
for the first time her lips moved in a whisper as she said : 
" No hope ! " Then she died. The world, she served it, and 
the world helped her not in the last. I would wish that I 
could marshal all the young people of our country to an 
appreciation of the fact that they have an earnest work in 
life, and that their amusements and recreations are only to 
help them along in that work. At the time of a religious 
awakening a Christian young woman spoke to a man in 
regard to his soul's salvation. He floated out into the world. 
Afcer awhile she became worldly in her Christian profession. 
The man said one day, " Well, I am as safe as sbe is. I 
was a Christian, she said she was a Christian. She talked 
with me about my soul; if she is safe I am safe." Then a 
sudden accident took him off without an opportunity to 
utter one word of prayer. Do you not realize, have you not 
noticed, young men and old — have you not noticed that the 
dissipations of social life are blasting and destroying a vast 



It is a strong way of putting the truth, that a woman 
who seeks in worldly advantage her chief enjoyment, will 
come to disappointment and death. 

My friends, you all want to be happy. You have had a 
great many recipes by which it is proposed to give you satis- 
faction — solid satisfaction. At times you feel a thorough 
unrest. You know as older people what it is to be depressed. 
As dark shadows sometimes fall upon the geography of the 
school-girl as on the page of the spectacled philosopher. I 
have seen as cloudy days in May as in November. There 
are no deeper sighs breathed by the grandmother than by 
the granddaughter. I correct the popular impression that 
people are happier in childhood and youth than they ever 
will be again. If we live aright, the older we are the hap- 
pier we are. The happiest woman that I ever knew was a 
Christian octogenarian; her hair white as white could be; 
the sunlight of heaven late in the afternoon gilding the 
peaks of snow. I have to say to a great many young people 
that the most miserable time you are ever to have is just 
now. As you advance in life, as you come out into the world 
and have your head and heart all full of good, honest, practi- 
cal, Christian work, then you will know what it is to begin 
to be happy. There are those who would have us believe 
that life is chasing thistle-down and grasping bubbles. We 
have not found it so. To many of us it has been discovering 
diamonds larger than the Kohinoor, and I think that our joy 
will continue to increase until nothing short of the everlast- 
ing jubilee of heaven will be able to express it. 



Horatio Greenough, at the close of the hardest life a man 
ever lives — the life of an American artist — wrote: "I don't 
want to leave this world until I give some sign that, horn by 
the grace of God in this land, I have found life to he a very 
cheerful thing, and not the dark and bitter thing with which 
my early prospects were clouded." Albert Barnes, the good 
Christian, known the world over, stood in his pulpit in Phil- 
adelphia, at seventy or eighty years of age, and said: "This 
world is so very attractive to me, I am very sorry I shall 
have to leave it." I know that Solomon said some very 
dolorous things about this world, and three times declared : 
"Vanity of vanities, all is vanity." I suppose it was a refer- 
ence to those times in his career when his seven hundred 
wives almost pestered the life out of him ! But I would rather 
turn to the description he has given of religion, when he says 
in another place : "Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and 
all her paths are peace." It is reasonable to expect it will be 
so. The longer the fruit hangs on the tree, the riper and 
more mellow it ought to grow. You plant one grain of 
corn, and it will send up a stalk with two ears, each having 
nine hundred and fifty grains, so that one grain planted will 
produce nineteen hundred grains. And ought not the im- 
plantation of a grain of Christian principle in a youthful soul 
develop into a large crop of gladness on earth and to a har- 
vest of eternal joy in heaven? I wish to show some of the 
mistakes which young people make in regard to happiness, 
and point out to young women what I consider to be the 
sources of complete patisfaction. 

In the first place, I advise you not to build your happi- 
ness upon mere social position. Young persons looking off 
upon life, are apt to think that if, by some stroke of what is 
called good-luck, they could arrive in an elevated and affluent 
position, a little higher than that in which God has called them 
to live, they would be completely happy. Infinite mistake ! 
The palace floor of Ahasuerus is red with the blood of 



Vashti's broken heart. There have been no more scalding 
tears wept than those which coursed the cheeks of Josephine. 
If the sobs of unhappy womanhood in the great cities could 
break through the tapestried wall, that sob would come along 
your streets to day like the simoon of the desert. Sometimes 
[ have heard in the rustling of the robes on the city pave- 
ment the hiss of the adders that followed in the wake. You 
have come out from your home, and you have looked up at 
the great house, and coveted a life under those arches, when, 
perhaps, at that very moment, within that house, there may 
have been the wringing of hands, the start of horror, and the 
very agony of hell. I knew such a one. Her father's 
house was plain, most of the people who came there were 
plain; but, by a change in fortune such as sometimes comes, a 
hand had been offered that led her into a brilliant sphere. 
All the neighbors congratulated her upon her grand pros- 
pects; but what an exchange! On her side it was a heart 
full of generous impulse and affection. On his side it was a 
soul dry and withered as the stubble of the field. On her 
side it was a father's house, where God was honored and the 
Sabbath light flooded the rooms with the very mirth of 
heaven. On his side it was a gorgeous residence, and the 
coming of mighty men to be entertained there; but within it 
were revelry and godlessness. Hardly had the orange blos- 
soms of the marriage feast lost their fragrance, than the 
night of discontent began to cast here and there its shadow. 
The ring on the finger was only one link of an iron chain 
that was to bind her eternally captive. Cruelties and unkind- 
ness changed all those splendid trappings into a hollow 
mockery. The platters of solid silver, the caskets of jmre 
gold, the head-dress of gleaming diamonds, were there; but 
no God, no peace, no kind words, no Christian sympathy. 
The festive music that broke on the captive's ear turned out 
to be a dirge, and the wreath in the plush was a reptile coil, 
and the upholstery that swayed in the wind was the wing of 


a destroying angel, and the bead-drops on the pitcher were 
the sweat of everlasting despair. 0, how many rivalries and 
unhappinesses among those who seek in social life their chief 
happiness! It matters not how fine you have things ; there 
are other people who have them finer. Taking out your 
watch to tell the hour of day, some one will correct your time- 
piece by pulling out a watch more richly chased and jeweled. 
Eide in a carriage that cost you eight hundred dollars, and 
before you get around the park you will meet one that cost 
two thousand dollars. Have on your wall a picture by Cop- 
ley, and before night you will hear of some one who has a 
picture fresh from the studio of Church or Bierstadt. All 
that this world can do for you in ribbons, in silver, in gold, 
in Axminster plush, in Gobelin tapestry, in wide halls, in 
lordly acquaintanceship, will not give you the ten-thousandth 
part of a grain of solid satisfaction. The English lord, 
moving in the very highest sphere, was one day found seated, 
with his chin on his hand, and his elbow on the window-sill, 
looking out, and saying : " 0, I wish I could exchange 
places with that dog." Mere social position will never give 
happiness to a woman's soul. I have walked through the 
halls of those who despise the common people; I have sat at 
their banquets; I have had their friendship; yea, I have 
heard from their own lips the story of their disquietude; and 
I tell the young women of our land that they who build on 
mere social position their soul's immortal happiness, are 
building on the sand. 

I go further, and advise you not to depend for enjoy- 
ment upon mere personal attractions. It would be sheer 
hypocrisy, because we may not have it ourselves, to despise, 
or affect to despise, beauty in others. When God gives it, 
He gives it as a blessing and as a means of usefulness. 
David and his army were coming down from the mountains 
to destroy Nabal and his flocks and vineyards. The beauti- 
ful Abigail, the wife of Nabal, went out to arrest him when 



he came down from the mountains, and she succeeded. 
Coming to the foot of the hill, she knelt. David with his 
army of sworn men came down over the cliffs, and when he 
saw her kneeling at the foot of the hill, he cried: "Halt!" 


to his men, and the caves echoed it: "Haiti halt!" That 
one beautiful woman kneeling at the foot of the cliff had 
arrested all those armed troops. A clew-drop dashed back 
Niagara. The Bible sets before us the portraits of Sarah and 
Rebecca, and Abishag, Absalom's sister, and Job's daughters, 
and says. "They were fair to look upon." By out-door 


exercise, and by skillful arrangement of apparel, let women 
make themselves attractive. The sloven has only one mis- 
sion, and that to excite our loathing and disgust. But alas ! 
for those who depend upon personal charms for their happi- 
ness. Beauty is such a subtle thing, it does not seem to 
depend upon facial proportions, or upon the sparkle of the 
eye, or upon the flush of the cheek. You sometimes find it 
among irregular features. It is the soul shining through the 
face that makes one beautiful. But alas! for those who 
depend upon mere personal charms. They will come to dis- 
appointment and to a great fret. There are so many differ- 
ent opinions about what are personal charms; and then 
sickness, and trouble, and age, do make such ravages. The 
poorest god that a woman ever worships is her own face. 
The saddest sight in all the world is a woman who has built 
everything on good looks, when the charms begin to vanish. 
0, how they try to cover the wrinkles and hide the ravages 
of time! When Time, with iron-shod feet, steps on a face, the 
hoof -marks remain, and you cannot hide them. It is silly to 
try to hide them. I tiiink the most repulsive fool in all the 
world is an old fool ! 

Why, my friends, should you be ashamed to be getting 
old? It is a sign — it is prima facie evidence, that you have 
behaved tolerably well or you would not have lived to this 
time. The grandest thing, I think, is eternity, and that is 
made up of countless years. When the Bible would set 
forth the attractiveness of Jesus Christ, it says: "His hair 
was white as snow." But when the color goes from the 
cheek, and the lustre from the eye, and the spring from the 
step, and the gracefulness from the gait, alas ! for those who 
have built their time and their eternity upon good looks. 
But all the passage of years cannot take out of one's face 
benignity, and kindness, and compassion, and faith. Cul- 
ture your heart and you culture your face. The brightest -glory 
that ever beamed from a woman's face is the religion of 



Jesus Christ. In the last war two hundred wounded soldiers 
came to Philadelphia one night, and came unheralded, and 
they had to extemporize a hospital for tbem, and the Chris- 
tian women went out that night to take care of the poor 

wounded fellows. That night I saw a Christian woman go 
through the wards of the hospital, her sleeves rolled up, ready 
for hard work, her hair dishevelled in the excitement of the 
hours. Her face was plain, very plain; but after the wounds 


were washed and the new bandages were put round the 
splintered limbs, and the exhausted boy fell off into his first 
pleasant sleep, she put her hand on his brow, and he started 
in his dream, and said: "0, I thought an angel touched 
me!" There may have been no classic elegance in the fea- 
tures of Mrs. Harris, who came into the hospital after the 
"Seven Days" awful fight before Eichmond, as she sat down 
by a wounded drummer-boy and heard him soliloquize: "A 
ball through my body, and my poor mother will never again 
see her boy. What a pity it is!" And she leaned over him 
and said: "Shall I be your mother, and comfort you?" And 
he looked up and said: "Yes, I'll try to think she's here. 
Please to write a long letter to her, and tell her all about it, 
and send her a lock of my hair and comfort her But I 
would like to have you tell her how much I suffered — yes, I 
would like you to do that, for she would feel so for me. 
Hold my hand while I die." There may have been no classic 
elegance in her features, but all the hospitals of Harrison's 
Landing and Fortress Monroe would have agreed that she 
was beautiful; and if any rough man in all that ward had 
insulted her, some wounded soldier would have leaped from 
his couch, on his best foot, and struck him dead with a 

I advise you not to depend for happiness upon the flatteries 
of men. It is a poor compliment to yoiir sex that so many 
men feel obliged in your presence to offer unmeaning com- 
pliments. Men capable of elegant and elaborate conversation 
elsewhere sometimes feel called upon at the door of the 
drawing-room to drop their common sense and to dole out 
sickening flatteries. They say things about your dress, and 
about your appearance, that you know, and they know, are 
false. They say you are an angel. You know you are not. 
Determined to tell the truth in office, and store, and shop, 
they consider it honorable to lie to a woman. The same 
thing that they told you on this side of the drawing-room> 



three minutes ago they said to some one on the other side of 
the drawing-room. 0, let no one trample on your self-respect. 
The meanest thing on which a woman can build her happiness 
is the flatteries of men. 

I charge you not to depend for happiness upon the disci- 
pleship of fashion. Some men are just as proud of being 
out of fashion as others are of being in it. I nave seen men 
as vain of their old fashioned coat, and their eccentric hat, 
as your brainless fop is proud of his dangling fooleries. 
Fashion sometimes makes a reasonable demand of us, and 
then we ought to yield to it. The daisies of the field have 
their fashion of color and leaf; the honeysuckles have their 
fashion of ear-drop; and the snow- 
flakes flung out of the winter heavens 
have their fashion of exquisiteness. Af- 
ter the summer shower the sky weds 
the earth with ring of rainbow. And I 
do not think wc have a right to despise 
all the elegancies and fashions of this 
world, especially if they make reasonable 
demands upon us; but the discipleship 
and worship of fashion is death to the 
body, and death to the soul. I am glad 
the world is improving. Look at the 
fashion plates of the seventeenth and 
eighteenth centuries, and you will find 
that the world is not so extravagant and 
extraordinary now as it was then, and all 
the marvellous things that the grand- 
daughter will do will never equal that 
done by the grandmother. Go still 
further back to the Bible times, and you find that in those 
times fashion wielded a more terrible scepter. You have 
only to turn to the third chapter of Isaiah. 

Only think of a woman having all that on ! I am glad 
that the world is getting better, and that fashion which has 


dominated in the world so ruinously in other days has for a 
little time, for a little degree at any rate, relaxed its energies. 
Oh, the danger of the discipleship of fashion. All the 
splendors and extraganza of this world dyed into your robe 
and flung over your shoulder canuot wrap peace around your 
heart for a single moment. The gayest wardrobe will utter 
no voice of condolence in the day of trouble and darkness. 
That woman is grandly dressed, and only she, who is wrapped 
in the robe of a Savior's righteousness. The home may be 
very humble, the hat may be very plain, the frock may be 
very coarse; but the halo of heaven settles in the room when 
she wears it, and the faintest touch of the resurrection angel 
will change that garment into raiment exceeding white, so 
as no fuller on earth could whiten it. I speak to you, young 
woman, to-day, to say that this world cannot make you happy. 
I know it is a bright world, with glorious sunshine, and golden 
rivers, and fire-worked sunset, and bird orchestra, and the 
darkest cave has its crystals, and the wrathiest wave its 
foam-wreath, and the coldest midnight its flaming aurora; 
but God will put out all these lights with the blast of his own 
nostrils, and the glories of this world will perish in the final 
conflagration. You will never be happy until you get your 
sins forgiven and allow Christ Jesus to take full possession 
of your soul. He will be your friend in every perplexity. 
He will be your comfort in every trial. He will be your 
defender in every strait. I do not ask you to bring, like 
Mary, the spices to the sepulcher of a dead Christ, but to 
bring your all to the feet of a living Jesus. His word is 
peace. His look is love. His hand is help. His touch is 
life. His smile is heaven. Oh, come, then, in flocks and 
groups! Come, like the south wind over banks of myrrh. 
Come, like the morning light tripping over the mountains. 
Wreathe all your affections for Christ's brow, set all your 
gems in Christ's coronet, pom- all your voices into Christ's 
song, and let the air rustle with the wings of rejoicing an- 
gels, and the towers of God ring out the news of souls saved! 

[From a Painting by L. Richter.J 


fashion's follies. 

That we should all be clad, is proved by the opening of 
the first wardrobe in Paradise, with its apparel of dark green. 
That we should all, as far as our means allow us, be beauti- 
fully and gracefully appareled, is proved by the fact that 
God never made a wave but he gilded it with golden sun- 
beams, or a tree but he garlanded it with blossoms, or^a sky ' 
but he studded it with stars, or allowed even the smoke of a 
furnace to ascend but he columned and turreted and domed 
and scrolled it into outlines *of indescribable gracefullness. 
When I see the apple-orchards of the spring and the page- 
antry of the autumnal forests, I come to the conclusion that 
if nature ever does join the Church, while she may be a ( 
Quaker in the silence of her worship, she never will be a J 
Qiiaker in the style of her dress. Why the notches of a fern S 
leaf, or the stamen of a water-lily? Why, when the day de- 
parts, does it let the folding-doors of heaven stay open so 
long, when it might go in so quickly? One summer morn- ( 
ing I saw an array of a million spears, each one adorned with 
a diamond of the first water — I mean the grass with the dew 
on it. When the prodigal came home his father not only 
put a coat on his back, but jewelry on his hand. Christ 
wore a beard. Paul, the bachelor apostle, not afflicted with 
any sentimentality, admired the arrangement of a woman's 
hair, when he said, in his epistle, " if a woman have long 
hair, it is a glory unto her." There wiU be fashion in hea- 
ven as on earth, but it will be a different kind of fashion. It 
will decide the color of the dress; and the population of that 
country, by a beautiful law, will wear white. I say these 


250 fashion's follies. 

things as a background to my subject, to show that I have no 
prim, precise, prudish, or cast-iron theories on the subject of 
human apparel. But the goddess of fashion has set up her 
throne in this country and at the sound of the timbrels we 
are all expected to fall down and worship. The old and new 
testament of her bible are Madame Demorest's Magazine and 
Harpers Bazar. Her altars smoke with the sacrifice of the 
bodies, minds, and souls of ten thousand victims. In her 
temple four people stand in the organ-loft, and from them 
there comes down a cold drizzle of music, freezing on the ears 
of her worshipers. This goddess of fashion has become a rival 
of the Lord of heaven and earth, and it is high time that we 
unlimbered our batteries against this idolatry. When I 
come to count the victims of fashion I find as many mascu- 
line as feminine. Men make an easy tirade against woman, 
as though she were the chief worshiper at this idolatrous 
shrine. My words shall be as appropriate for the one as for 
the other. 

Men are as much idolators of fashion as women, but 
they sacrifice on a different part of the altar, "With men, 
the fashion goes to cigars and club-rooms and yachting par- 
ties and wine suppers. In the United States the men chew 
up and smoke one hundred millions of dollars' worth of to- 
bacco every year. That is their fashion. In London, not 
long ago, a man died who started in life with seven hundred 
and fifty thousand dollars, but he ate it all up in gluttonies, 
sending his agents to all parts of the earth for some rare 
delicacy for the palate, sometimes one plate of food costing 
him three or four hundred dollars. He ate up his whole 
fortune, and had only one guinea left; with that he bought 
a woodcock, and had it dressed in the very best style, ate it, 
gave two hours for digestion, then walked out on Westmin- 
ster bridge and threw himself into the Thames, and died, 
doing on a large scale what you and I have often seen done 
on a small scale. But men do not abstain from millinery 

fashion's follies. 251 

and elaboration of skirt through any superiority of humility. 
It is only because such appendages would be a blockade to 
business. What would sashes and trains three and a half 
yards long do in a stock market? And yet men are the dis- 
ciples of fashion just as much as women. Some of them 
wear boots so tight that they can hardly walk in the paths 
of righteousness. And there are men who buy expensive 
suits of clothes and never pay for them, and who go through 
the streets in great stripes of color like animated checker- 
boards. Then there are multitudes of men who, not satis- 
fied with the bodies the Lord gave them, are padded so that 
their shoulders shall be square, carrying around a small cot- 
ton plantation. And I understand a great many of them 
now paint their eyebrows and their lips, and I have heard 
from good authority that there are multitudes of men — 
things have got to such an awful pass — multitudes of men 
wearing corsets ! I say these things because I want to show 
you that I am impartial in my words, and that both sexes, 
in the language of the Surrogate's office, shall "share and 
share alike." As God may help me, I shall show you what 
are the destroying and deathful influences of inordinate 

The first baleful influence I notice is in fraud, ill-imitable 
and ghastly. Do you know that Arnold of the Eevolution 
proposed to sell his country in order to get money to support 
his wife's wardrobe? I declare here before God that the 
effort to keep up expensive establishments in this country is 
sending more business men to temporal perdition than all 
other causes combined. What was it that sent Gilman to 
the penitentiary, and Philadelphia Morton to the watering 
of stocks, and the life insurance presidents to perjured state- 
ments about their assets, and has completely upset our 
American finances? What was it that overthrew Belknap, 
the United States Secretary at Washington, the crash of 
whose fall shook the continent? But why should I go to 

252 fashion's follies. 

these famous defaultings to show what men will do in order 
to keep up great home style and expensive wardrobe, when 
you and I know scores of men who are put to their wit's encL 
and are lashed from January to December in the attempt. 
Our Washington politicians may theorize until the expiration 
of their terms of office as to the best way of improving our 
monetary condition in this country; it will be of no use, 
and things will be no better until we learn to put on our 
heads, and backs and feet, and hands no more than we can 
pay for. 

There are clerks in stores and banks on limited salaries, 
who, in the vain attempt to keep the wardrobe of their 
family as showy as other folk's wardrobes, are dying of muffs, 
and diamonds, and camel's hair shawls, and high hats, and 
they have nothing left except what they give to cigars and 
wine suppers, and they die before their time and they will 
expect us ministers to preach about them as though they were 
the victims of early piety, and after a high-class funeral, 
with silver handles at the side of their coffin, of extraordi- 
nary brightness, it will be found out that the undertaker is 
cheated out of his legitimate expenses ! Do not send to me 
to preach the funeral sermon of a man who dies like that. I 
will blurt out the whole truth, and tell that he was strangled 
to death by his Avife's ribbons! The country is dressed to 
death. You are not surprised to find that the putting up of 
one public building in New York cost millions of dollars more 
than it ought to have cost, when you find that the man who 
gave out the contracts paid more than five thousand dollars 
for his daughter's wedding dress. Cashmeres of a thousand 
dollars each are not rare on Broadway. It is estimated that 
there are five thousand women in these two cities who have 
expended on their personal array two thousand dollars a year. 

What are men to do in order to keep up such home ward- 
robes ? Steal — that is the only respectable thing they can do ! 
During the last fifteen years there have been innumerable 



fine businesses shipwrecked on the wardrobe. The tempta- 
tion comes in this way: A man thinks more of his family 
than of all the world outside, and if they spend the evening 
in describing to him the superior wardrobe of the family 
across the street, that they cannot bear the sight of, the man 


is thrown on his gallantry and his pride of family, and, 
without translating his feelings into plain language, he goes 
into extortion and issuing of false stock, and skillful pen- 
manship in writing somebody else's name at the foot of a 
promissory note ; and they all go down together — the husband 
to the prison, the wife to the sewing machine, the children to 
be taken care of by those who were called poor relations. ! 
for some new Shakespeare to arise and write the tragedy of 
human clothes! 

Act the first of the tragedy. — A plain but beautiful home. 
Enter, the newly-married pair. Enter, simplicity of man- 

254 fasbion's follies. 

ner and behavior. Enter, as much happiness as is ever 
found in one home. Act the second. — Discontent with the 
humble home. Enter, envy. Enter, jealousy. Enter, de- 
sire of display. Act the third. — Enlargement of expenses. 
Enter, all the queenly dressmakers. Enter, the French 
milliners. Act the fourth. — The tip-top of society. Enter, 
princes and princesses of New York life. Enter, magnifi- 
cent plate and equipage. Enter, everything splendid. Act 
the fifth, and last. — Winding up of the scene. Enter, the 
assignee. Enter, the sheriff. Enter, the creditors. Enter, 
humiliation. Enter, the wrath of God. Enter, the con- 
tempt of society. Enter, death. Now, let the silk curtain 
drop on the stage. The farce is ended and the lights are 
out. "Will you forgive me if I say in the tersest terms pos- 
sible that some of the men in this country have to forge and 
to swindle and to perjure to pay for their wives' dresses? I 
will say it, whether you forgive me or not. 

Again, inordinate fashion is the foe of all Christian 
alms -giving. Men and women put so much in personal 
display that they often have nothing for God and the cause 
of suffering humanity. A Christian man cracking his Pal- 
ais Eoyal glove across the back by shutting up his hand to 
hide the one cent he puts into the poor-box! A Christian 
woman, at the story of the Hottentots, crying copious tears 
into a twenty-five dollar handkerchief, and then giving a 
two-cent piece to the collection, thrusting it down under the 
bills so people will not know but it was a ten-dollar gold 
piece! One hundred dollars for incense to fashion. Two 
cents for God. God gives us ninety cents out of every dol- 
lar. The other ten cents by command of His Bible belong 
to Him. Is not God liberal according to this tithing system 
laid down in the Old Testament — is not God liberal in giv- 
ing us ninety cents out of a dollar, when he takes but ten? 
We do not like that. We want to have ninety-nine cents for 
ourselves and one for God, 



Now, I would a great deal rather steal ten cents from you 
than God. I think one reason why a great many people do 
not get along in worldly accumulation faster is because they 
do not observe this divine rule. God says: "Well, if that 
man is not satisfied with ninety cents of a dollar, then I will 
take the whole dollar, and I will give it to the man or woman 
who is honest with me." The greatest obstacle to charity 
in the Christian church to-day is the fact that men expend 
so much money on their table, and women so much on their 
dress, they have got nothing left for the work of God and the 
world's betterment. In my first settlement at Belleville, 
New Jersey, the cause of missions was being presented one 
Sabbath, and a plea for the charity of the people was being 
made, when an old Ghristian man in the audience lost his 
balance, and said 

right out in the 
midst of the ser- 
mon: "Mr. Tal- 
mage, how are we 
to give liberally 
to these grand 
and glorious caus- 
es when our fami- 
lies dress as they 
do?" I did not 
answer that ques- 
tion. It was the 
only time in my 
life when I had nothing to say. 

Again, inordinate fashion is distraction to public worship. 
You know very well there are a good many people who come 
to church just as they go to the races, to see who will come 
out first. What a flutter it makes in church when some wo- 
man with extraordinary display of fashion comes in. "What 
a love of a bonnet!" says some one. "What a perfect 


256 fashion's follies. 

fright!" say five hundred. For the most merciless critics in 
the world are fashion critics. Men and women with souls to 
be saved passing the hour in wondering where that man got 
his cravat, or what store that woman patronizes. In many 
of our churches the preliminary exercises are taken up with 
the discussion of wardrobes. It is pitiable. Is it not won- 
derful that the Lord does not strike the meeting-houses with 
lightning ! What distraction of public worship ! Dying men 
and women, whose bodies are soon to be turned into dust, 
yet before three worlds strutting like peacocks, the awful 
question of the soul's destiny submerged by the question of 
Creedmore polonaise, and navy blue velvet and long fan train 
skirt, long enough to drag up the church aisle, the husband's 
store, office, shop, factory, fortune,* and the admiration of 
half the people in the building. Men and women come late 
to church to show their clothes. People sitting down in a 
pew or taking up a hymn book, all absorbed at the same time 
in personal array, to sing : 

" Eise, ray soul, and stretcli thy wings. 
Thy better portion trace; 
Eise from transitory things, 
Toward heaven, thy native place!" 

I adopt the Episcopalian prayer and say: "Good Lord, 
deliver us!" 

Insatiate fashion also belittles the intellect. Our minds 
are enlarged or they dwindle just in proportion to the im- 
portance of the subject on which we constantly dwell. Can 
you imagine anything more dwarfing to the human intellect 
than the study of fashion? I see men on the street who, 
judging from their elaboration, I think must have taken two 
hours to arrange their apparel. After a few years of that 
kind of absorption, which one of McAllister's magnifying 
glasses will be powerful enough to make the man's character 
visible? What will be left of a woman's intellect after giving 
years and years to the discussion of such questions as the 



comparison between knife-pleats and box-pleats, and border- 
ings of grey fox fur or black martin, or the comparative 
excellence of circulars of repped Antwerp silk lined with blue 
fox fur or with Hudson Bay sable? They all land in idiocy. 
I have seen men at the summer watering-places, through 
fashion the mere wreck of what they once were. Sallow of 
cheek. Meager of limb. Hollow at the chest. Showing no 
animation save in rushing across a room to pick up a lady's 
fan. Simpering along the corridors, 
the same compliments they sim- 
pered twenty years ago. A New 
York lawyer last summer at United 
States Hotel, Saratoga, within our 
hearing, rushed across a room to 
say to a sensible woman, "You are 
as sweet as peaches!" The. fools 
of fashion are myriad. Fashion 
not only destroys the body, but it 
makes idiotic the intellect. 

Yet, my friends, I have given 
you only the milder phase of this 
evil. It shuts a great multitude 
out of heaven. The first peal of 
thunder that shook Sinai declared : 
"Thou shalt have no other God be- 
fore me," and you will have to 
choose between the goddess of 
fashion and the Christian God. 
There are a great many seats in heaven, and they are all 
easy seats, but not one seat for the devotee of fashion. 
Heaven is for meek and quiet spirits. Heaven is for those 
who think more of their souls than of their bodies. Heaven 
is for those who have more joy in Christian charity than in 
dry-goods religion. Why, if you with your idolatry of 
fashion should somehow get into heaven, you would be for 


258 fashion's follies. 

putting a French roof on the "house of many mansions," 
and making plaits and Hamburg embroidery and flounces in 
the robes, and you would be for introducing the patterns of 
Butterick's Quarterly Delineator. Give up this idolatry of 
fashion, or give up heaven. What would you do standing 
beside the Countess of Huntington, whose joy it was to build 
chapels for the poor, or with that Christian woman of Boston, 
who fed fifteen hundred children of the street at Faneuil 
Hall on New Year's Day, giving out as a sort of doxology at 
the end of the meeting a pair of shoes to each one of them ; 
or those Dorcases of modern society who have consecrated 
their needles to the Lord, and who will get eternal reward for 
every stitch they take. 0! men and women, give up the 
idolatry of fashion. The rivalries and the competitions of 
such a life are a stupendous wretchedness. You will always 
find some one with brighter array and with more palatial 
residence, and with lavender, kid gloves that make a tighter 
fit. And if you buy this thing and wear it you will wish 
you had bought something else and worn it. And the frets 
of such a life will bring the crows' feet to your temples before 
they are due, and when you come to die you will have a 
miserable time. I have seen men and women of fashion die, 
and I never saw one of them die well. The trappings off, 
there they lay on the tumbled pillow, and there were just 
two things that bothered them — a wasted life and a coming 
eternity. I could not pacify them, for their body, mind, and 
soul had been exhausted in the worship of fashion, and 
they could not appreciate the gospel. When I knelt by their 
bedside they were mumbling out their regrets and saying, "0 
God ! God ! " Their garments hung up in the wardrobe, 
never again to be seen by them. Without any exception, so 
far as my memory serves me, they died without hope, and 
went into eternity unprepared. The two most ghastly death- 
beds on earth are, the one where a man dies of delirium 
tremens, and the other where a woman dies after having 

fashion's follies. 259 

sacrificed all her faculties of body, mind arid soul in the 
worship of fashion. My friends, we must appear in judg- 
ment to answer for what we have worn on our bodies as well 
as for what repentances we have exercised with our souls. 
On that day I see coming in, Beau Brummel of the last 
century, without his cloak, like which all England got a 
cloak; and without his cane, like which all England got a 
cane; without his snuff-box, like which all England got a 
snuff-box — he, the fop of the ages, particular about every- 
thing but his morals ; and Aaron Burr, without the letters 
that down to old age he showed in pride, to prove his early 
wicked gallantries; and Absalom without his hair; and Mar- 
chioness Pompadour without her titles ; and Mrs. Arnold, 
the belle of Wall street, when that was the center of fashion, 
without her fripperies of vesture. 

And in great haggardness they shall go away into eternal 
expatriation; while among the queens of heavenly society 
will be found Vashti, who wore the modest veil before the 
palatial bacchanalians; and Hannah, who annually made a 
little coat for Samuel at the temple; and Grandmother Lois, 
the ancestress of Timothy, who imitated her virtue; and 
Mary, who gave Jesus Christ to the world; and many of you, 
the wives and mothers and sisters and daughters of the 
present Christian Church, who through great tribulation are 
entering into the kingdom of God. Christ announced who 
would make up the royal family of heaven when he said, 
"Whosoever doeth the will of God, the same is my brother, 
my sister, my mother." 



Isaiah describes the voluptuousness of an ancient city — 
the description, with a very little variation, is as appropriate 
to New York, Brooklyn and Chicago as to Jerusalem and 
Tyre. One might think that he had had before him the 
fashion-plates, and the head-dresses, and the jewel-caskets, 
and the dancing-schools, and the drawing-room parties of 
the present day, and that he foresaw Saratoga and Brighton 
and Long Branch. Through this same description we also 
see the masculine extravagance and dissipation which always 
correspond with the feminine. Women may have greater 
varieties of apparel, but she lives a quieter life, and, there- 
fore, may have the great varieties and luxuries of dress with- 
out impediment. Men would wear as much, if they knew 
how without interfering with their wordly occupations. The 
rough jostling of life is inimical to a man's dragging a dress- 
trail two yards in length, or pending from his ear a diamond 
cluster. In the old time, as well as in all ages of the world, 
the two sexes were alike in moralities or immoralities. While 
in parlor sentimentalities it is well that men defer to women, 
and women defer to men, in the presence of God, and in the 
light of eternal responsibilities, the sexes are equal. 

Isaiah takes us twenty-five hundred years back, and sets 
us down in an ancient city. It is a bright day, and the 
ladies are all out. The procession of men and women is mov- 
ing up and down the gay streets. It is the height of the 
fashionable season. The sensible people move with so much 
modesty that they do not attract our attention. But here 
come tbe haughty daughters of Jerusalem. They lean for- 





ward; they lean very much forward; so far forward as to be 

unnatural — teetering, wobbling, wriggling, flirting, or, as he 


describes it, they " walk with, stretched forth necks, walking 
and mincing as they go." They have spent hours before the 
mirror ere starting from home, and have in most astounding 
style arranged their bonnets and their veils and their entire 
apparel, and now go through the streets, taking more of the 
pavement than they are entitled to, sweeping along with 
skirts, " round tires like the moon." See! that is a princess! 
Look! that is a Damascus sword-maker! Look! that is a 
Syrian merchant! The jingling of tbe chains, and the flash- 
ing of the head-bands, and the exhibitions of universal swag- 
ger attract the attention of the prophet, and he brings his 
camera to bear upon the scene, and takes a picture for all 
the ages. But where is that scene ? Vanished. "Where are 
those gay streets? Vermin- covered population pass through 
them. Where are the hands, and the necks, and the fore- 
heads, and the shoulders, and the feet that sported all that 
magnificence? Ashes! Ashes! 

I am going to write of the God-defying extravagance of 
modern society. For the refinements and the elegancies and 
adornments of life, I cast my vote. While I was thinking 
over this subject, there was handed into my house a basket 
of flowers, paradisiacal in their beauty. White-calla with a 
green background of begonia; heliotropes nestling among 
geraniums; sepal, corolla, and perianth showed the touch of 
God's fingers. In the snow of the camellia, in the fire-dye of 
the rose, in the sky-blue of the English violet, I learned that 
God loves adornment. He might have made this earth so as 
to satisfy the gross demands of sense, but left it without 
adornment or attraction. Instead of the variegated colors of 
the season, the earth might have worn a dress of unchanging 
dull brown. The trees might have put forth their fruit with- 
out the prophesy of leaf or blossom. Niagara might have 
let down its waters in gradual descent without thunder and 
winged spray. But no. Look out, on some summer morn- 
ing, after a heavy night-dew, and see whether or not God 


loves jewels. Put a snow-flake under a microscope, and see 
whether God does not love exquisite architecture. He de- 
creed that the breast-plate of the priest in olden time should 
have a wreath of gold, and the hem of his garment should be 
worked in to figures of pomegranate. When the world sleeps 
God blankets it with the brilliants of the night sky, and when it 
wakes he washes it in the burnished laver of the sunrise. 

But it is absolutely necessary that we draw a line between 
that which is the lawful use of beautiful adornment and that 
extravagance which is the source of so much crime, wretch- 
edness and abomination in our day. That is sinful extra- 
vagance when you go into anything beyond your means. That 
which is right for one may be wrong for another. That which 
is lawful expense for a queen may be sinful outlay for a 
duchess. That which may be economy for you with larger in- 
come may be squandering for me with smaller income. But 
when men and women cross over the line which separates 
between what they can pay for, and still keep a sufficiency to 
meet moral obligation on the one hand, and, on the other 
hand, that extravagance which one's means cannot compass, 
they have passed from the innocent into the culpable. 
Across that line have gone "a multitude that no man can 

We judge of what we ought to have by what other peo- 
ple have. If they have a sumptuous table, and fine resi- 
dence, and gay turn-out, and exquisite apparel, and brilliant 
surroundings, we must have them, irrespective of our capa- 
city to stand the expense. We throw ourselves down in de- 
spair because other people have a seal-skin coat, and we 
have an ordinary one ; because others have diamonds, and 
we have garnets; because others have Axminster, and we 
have Brussels; because others have lambrequins, and we 
have plain curtains. What others have we mean' to have 
anyhow. So there are families hardly able to pay their 
rent, and in debt to every merchant in the neighborhood, 



who sport apparel inapt for their circumstances, and run so 
near the shore that the first misfortune in business or the 
first hesiegement of sickness tosses them into pauperism. 
There are thousands of families moving from neighborhood 
to neighborhood, staying long enough in each one to exhaust 
all their capacity to get trusted. They move away because 

"A SUMPTUOUS TABLE.'*— Page 263. 

the druggists will give them no more medicine, and the 
butchers will afford them no more meat, and the bakers will 
give them no more bread, and the grocers will furnish them 
no more sugar until they pay up. Then they suddenly find 
out that the neighborhood is unhealthy, and they hire a cart- 
man, whom they never pay, to take them to a part of the 
city where all the druggists and butchers and bakers and 
grocers will be glad to see them come in, and send to them 
the best rounds of beef, and the best coffee, and the best of 
everything, until the slight suspicion comes into their brain 
that all the pay they will ever get from their customer is the 
honor of his society. There are about five thousand such 


thieves in Brooklyn. You see I call it by a plain name, be- 
cause when a man buys a thing that he does not expect to 
pay for he is a thief. 

There are circumstances where men can not meet their 
obligations. It is as honest for some men to fail as it is for 
other men to succeed. They do their best, and through the 
misfortunes of life they are thrown, and they can not pay 
their debts. That is one thing; but when you go and pur- 
chase an article for which you know there is no proba- 
bility of your ever making recompense, you are a villain! 
Why don't you save the time of the merchant, and 
the expense of an accountant for him? Why don't you 
go down some day to his store, and when no one is look- 
ing, shoulder the ham and the spare-rib, and in modest 
silence take them along with you? That would be a lesser 
crime; for now you get not only the merchant's goods, but 
you get his time, and you rouse up his expectations. If you 
must steal, steal so it will be the least possible damage to 
the trader. John Randolph arose in the American Senate, 
and stretching himself up to full height, cried out, with a 
shrill voice: " Mr. Chairman, I have found the philosopher's 
stone that turns everything into gold: Pay as you go." 

Society has to be reconstructed on this subject. You 
have no right to ride in a carriage when you owe the wheel- 
right who furnished the landau, and the horse-dealer who 
provided the blooded span, and the harness-maker who 
caparisoned the gay steeds, and the livery-man who fur- 
nished the stabling, and the driver who sits with rosetted 
hat on your coach-box. I am glad to see you ride. The 
finer your horses and the better your carriage the better it 
pleases me. But if you are in debt for the equipage, and 
hopelessly in debt, get down and walk like the rest of us. 
It is Avell to understand that it is not the absolute necessi- 
ties that we find it so hard to meet but the fictitious wants. 
God promises us shelter, but not a palace ; and raiment, but 


not chinchilla; and food, but not canvas-back duck. As 
long as we have enough to meet the positive necessities of 
life, we ought to be content until we can afford the superflu- 
ities. As soon as you see a man deliberately consent that 
his outgo shall exceed his income, you may know he has 
started on the broad road to bankruptcy and moral ruin. 
The young man who came from the oil wells in Pennsylva- 
nia, having gained a sudden fortune of two millions of dol- 
lars, and then ran through the whole of it in less than two 
years, illustrated on a large scale what some of you are do- 
ing on a small scale. 

This wholesale extravagance accounts for a great deal of 
depression in national finances. Aggregates are made up of 
units, and so long as one half the people of this country are 
in debt to the other half, you can not have a healthy finan- 
cial condition. The national resources are drawn off, not 
only for useless extravagances, but for those that are posi- 
tively pernicious. The theaters of New York cost that city 
every year two millions of dollars. We spend in this coun- 
try one hundred millions of dollars every year for cigars 
and tobacco. In the United States we expend annually one 
thousand four hundred and eighty-three millions of dollars 
for rum. Now, take those facts, and is it strange that our 
national finances are crazed? If you have an exportation of 
breadstuffs four times what you have now, and an importa- 
tion of gold four times what you have now, there would be 
no permanent prosperity in this country until people quit 
their sinful lavishment, and learn honest economy. You 
charge it upon Salmon P. Chase, or Boutwell, or other Sec- 
retaries. I charge it upon you, the men and women who 
are living beyond your means. 

This wide- spread extravagance also accounts for much 
of the crime. It is the source of many abscondings, bank- 
ruptcies, defalcations and knaveries. The store on Broadway 
and the office on Wall street are swamped by the residence 


on Madison square. The husband and father has his craft 
capsized because he carries too much sail of point-lace and 
Antille guipure. That is what destroyed Ketchum, and 
Swartwout, and ten thousand men not so famous. That is 
what springs the leak in the merchant's money-till, and pulls 
down your trust companies, and cracks the pistols of your 
suicides, and halts this nation on its high career of prosperity. 
I arraign this monster of extravagance in the sight of all the 
people, and ask you to pelt it with your scorn and denounce 
it with your anathema. 

This wide-spread extravagance also accounts for much of 
the pauperism in the country. Who are the individuals and 
the families who are thrown on your charity? Who has 
sinned against them so that they suffer? It is often the case 
that their parents, or their grand parents, had all luxuries, 
lived everything up, more than lived everything up, and then 
died, leaving their families in want. The grand parents of 
these beggars supped on Burgundy and woodcock. There are a 
great many families who have every luxury in life, yet expend 
every dollar that comes in, and perhaps a few dollars more } 
not even taking the common Christian prudence of having 
their lives insured. While they live all is well, but when 
they die their children are pitched into the street. I tell you 
a man has no right to die under such circumstances. It is 
grand larceny, even his death. If a man has been industrious 
and economical, and has not a farthing to leave his children 
as he goes away from them, he has a right to put them in the 
hands of the Father of the Fatherless, and know they will 
be cared for; but if you, with every comfort in life, are lavish 
and improvident, and then depart this life leaving your chil- 
dren to be hurled into pauperism, you deserve to have your 
bones sold to the medical museum for anatomical specimens, 
the proceeds to furnish your children bread. Some of you 
are making a great swash in life, and after a while will die, 
leaving your families beggars, and you will expect us min- 



isters of the G-ospel to come and stand by your coffin, and lie 
aboiit your excellencies; but we will not do it. If you send 
for me, I will tell you what my text will be: "He that pro- 
videth not for his own, and especially for those of his own 
household, is worse than an infidel." 

In this day, God has mercifully allowed those of us who 
have limited income to make provision for our families* 


through the great life insurance companies all over the land. 
By some self-denial on our part, we can make this provision 
for those whom we shall leave behind us. Is there anything 
so helpless as a woman whose husband has just died, when, 
with children at her back, she goes out in this day to fight 
for bread? Shall she become a menial servant in some one 
else's household? No; not the one that has been lying on 
your arm all these years, and filling the household with joy 


and light. Shall she sew for a living? God knows that they 
get but six cents and eight cents for making one garment. 
Ah no ! you had better have your coffin made large enough to 
take them all with you to that land where they never freeze 
nor starve. How a man with no surplus of estate, but still 
enough money to pay the premium on a life insurance policy 
can refuse to do it, and then look his children in the face, 
and say his prayers at night on going to bed, expecting them 
to be answered, is a mystery to me that I have never yet been 
able to fathom. 

This extravagance is becoming more and more wide- 
spread. A statistician has estimated that there are in New 
York and Brooklyn four thousand five hundred women who 
expend annually two thousand dollars each in dress. It is 
no rare thing when the wedding march sounds to see dragging 
through the aisle a bridal dress that has cost its thousand or 
fifteen hundred dollars. Things have come to such a pass 
that when we cry over sin we wipe the tears away with a 
hunclred-and-fif ty dollar pocket-handkerchief. The tendency 
to extravagance was illustrated wonderfully when James 
Fisk, jun., sent the bridal presents to the home of William 
M. Tweed. Fisk sent an iceberg of frosted silver, polar bears 
of silver lying down on the handles, polar bears of silver 
walking over the gold spoons. There were in the house that 
day forty silver sets of imperial magnificence. There was a 
diamond set that cost forty-five thousand dollars. There was 
one dress that had in it thirty-seven yards of silk, with three 
hundred and eighty-two bows. Hundreds of thousands of 
dollars expended on that scene. The reason we have not a 
multitude of scenes as extravagant is because we have not 
so much money. 

This wicked extravagance shows itself no more forcibly 
than on the funeral day. No one else seems willing to speak 
of it, so I shall. There has been many a man who has died 
solvent, but has been insolvent before he got under the 


ground. One would think that the two debts most sacred 
would be debts to the physician and the undertaker, since 
they are the last two debts contracted; and yet those two 
professions are swindled more frequently than any other. 
In the agitation and excitement the friends come, and they 
want extraordinary attention, and they want extraordinary 
expenditure, and then, when the sad scene is past, neglect to 
make compensation. What are those two professions to do 
under such circumstances? If a merchant sells goods, and 
they are not paid for, I understand he can reclaim the goods ; 
but if a man departs this life, and through his friends, 
indebtedness is contracted that is not met, there seems to 
be no relief, for the patient has gone off with the doctor's 
pills and the undertaker's white slippers. Greenwood and 
Laurel Hill and Mount Auburn hold to-day thousands of 
such swindles. 

A man dies. He has lived a fictitious life, moved 
amidst splendor, and dies leaving his family not a dollar ; 
but they, poor things ! must keep up the same magnificence, 
and so they resolve upon a great funeral. The obsequies 
shall be splendid ! The expense is nearly two thousand dol- 
lars for getting one poor mortal to his last home ! Perhaps 
it would have been all well if they had been able to meet the 
expenditure ; but when it was known they could not, it was 
a villainy. There are families that you know who, in the 
effort to meet the ridiculous, outrageous, and wicked customs 
of society in regard to obsequies, have actually reduced 
themselves to penury. They put their last dollar in the 
ground. There is in England what they call a funeral re- 
form. It is high time we had such a reform society in our 
own country. 

This wide-spread extravagance accounts, also, for the 
poverty of religious institutions. Men pay so much for show 
they have nothing for God and religion. We pay in this 
country twenty-two millions of dollars for the great benevo- 


lent societies ; but what are twenty-two millions of dollars 
compared with the one hundred millions for cigars and tobacco, 
and the one thousand four hundred and eighty-three millions 
for drink? How do you like the comparison? Great lavish- 
ment for the world; great niggardliness for God. 

Let us set ourselves in battle array against this God-defy- 
ing extravagance. Buy not those things which are frivolous, 
when you may after a while be in lack of the necessities. 
Buy not books you will never read, nor pictures you will 
never study. Put not a whole month's wages into one trinket. 
Keep your credit good by seldom or never asking for any. 
Pay. Starve not a whole year so as to be able to afford one 
Belshazzar carnival. Do not buy a coat of many colors, and 
then in six months be out at the elbows. Do not pay so much 
for a muffler for the neck, and be almost bare-footed. Flourish 
not, as some I know of, in elegant hotels with drawing-room 
apartments, and then vanish in the night, not even leaving 
your compliments for the landlord. 

In the great day, we will have to give an account not only 
for how we made our money, but for how we spent it. When 
so many are suffering, and there is want before us and want 
behind us and want on either side of us, let us quit our waste. 
Men and women of God, I call upon you to set a Christian 
example. Bemember that soon you will have to leave your 
wardrobe and equipage. I do not want you to feel on that 
day like the dying actress, who ordered up her casket of 
jewels, and then with her pale, dying hand rolled them over, 
and said, "Alas! that I must give you up so soon." In that 
day, better have one treasure in heaven, just one, than to 
have had the bridal trousseau of a Queen Maria Louisa, or to 
have sat with Caligula at a banquet which cost four hundred 
thousand dollars, or to have been carried out in a pageant 
with senators and princes for pall-bearers. They who con- 
secrate to God their time, their talents, and their all, shall 
be held in everlasting remembrance, while the name of the 
wicked shall rot. 



I am asked, What is the influence of club-houses in 
America? Men are gregarious. Cattle in herds. Birds in 
flocks. Fish in schools. The human race in social circles. 
You may by discharge of gun scatter the flock of quails, and 
you may by plunge of the anchor send apart the denizens of 
the deep; but they will re -assemble. And if by some power 
you could scatter all the present associations of men, they 
would again re-assemble. Herbs and flowers prefer to stand 
in associations. You plant a forget-me-not or a heart's-ease 
away up alone on the hillside, and it will soon hunt up some 
other heart's-ease or forget-me-not. You find the herbs 
talking to each other in the incrning dew. A galaxy of stars 
is a mutual life insurance company. Once in a while you 
find a man unsympathetic and alone, and like a ship's mast, 
ice-glazed, which the most agile sailor could not climb ; but 
the most of men have in their nature a thousand roots and a 
thousand branches, and they blossom all the way to the top, 
and the fowls of heaven sing amid the branches. Because 
of this we have communities and societies — some for the 
kindling of mirth, some for the raising of sociality, some for 
the advance of a craft, some to plan for the welfare of the 
State — associations of artists, of merchants, of shipwrights, 
of carpenters, of masons, of plumbers, of plasterers, of law- 
yers, of doctors, of clergymen. Do you cry out against this? 
Then you cry out against a divine arrangement. 

You might as well preach to a busy ant-hill or bee-hive 
against secret societies. In many of the ages people have gath- 
ered together in associations, characterized by the old, blunt 




Saxon desigation of club. If you have read history, ycu know 
there were the King's Head Club, and the Ben Johnson Club, 
and the Brothers' Club — to which Swift and Bohug broke 
belonged — and the Literary Club, which Burkeand Goldsmith 
and Johnson and Boswell made immortal ; and Jacobin Club, 


and Benjamin Franklin Junto Club, and others almost as cele- 
brated and conspicuous. Some to advance arts, some to 
vindicate justice, some to promote good literature, some to 
destroy the body and blast the soul. In our own time we 
have many clubs. They are as different from each other as 

274 clubs. 

the day from the night. I might show you two specimens. 
Here is the imperial hallway. On this side is the parlor, 
with the upholstery of a Kremlin or a Tuileries. Here is a 
dining-room which challenges you to mention any luxury it 
cannot afford. Here is an art gallery with pictures and 
statues and drawings fi'om the best of artists — Bierstadt and 
Church and Cole and Powers — pictures for all moods, 
impassioned or placid — Sheridan's Eide and Farmers at their 
Nooning. Shipwreck and Sunlight over the Seas. Foaming 
deer with the hounds after it in the Adirondacks. Sheep 
asleep on the hill-side. And here are reading-rooms with 
the finest of magazines, and libraries with all styles of books, 
from hermeneutics to fairy tale. Men go there for ten min- 
utes or for many hours. Some come from beautiful and 
happy home circles for a little while that they may enter into 
these club-house socialities. Others come from dismembered 
households, and while they have humble lodgings elsewhere, 
find their chief joy here. One blackball amid ten votes will 
defeat a man's membership. For rowdyism and gambling 
an$ drunkenness and every style of misdemeanor a man is 
immediately dropped. Brilliant club-house from top to 
bottom — the chandeliers, the plate, the literature, the social 
prestige a complete enchantment. 

Here is another club-house. You open the door, and the 
fumes of strong drink and tobacco are something almost in- 
tolerable. You do not have to ask what those young men 
are doing, for you can see by the flushed cheek and intent 
look and almost angry way of tossiug the dice and dropping 
the chips, they are gambling. That is an only son seated 
there at another table. He has had all art, all culture, all 
refinement showered upon him by his parents. That is the 
way he is paying them for their kindness. That is a young 
married man. • A few months ago he made promises of fidel- 
ity and kindness, every one of which he has broken. 
Around a table in the club-house there is a group telling vile 

clubs. 275 

stories. It is getting late now, and three-fourths of the 
members of the club are intoxicated. It is between twelve 
and one o'clock, and after a while it is time to shut up. The 
conversation has got to be grovelling, base, filthy, outrage- 
ous. Time to shut up. The young men saunter forth, those 
who can walk, and balance themselves against the lamp-post 
or the fence. A young man not able to get out has a couch 
extemporized for him in the club-house, or by two comrades 
not quite so overcome by strong drink, he is led to his father's 
house, and the door-bell rung, and these two imbecile escorts 
usher into the front hall the ghastliest thing ever ushered 
into a father's house — a drunken son. There are dissipat- 
ing club-houses, which would do well if they could make a 
contract with Inferno to furnish ten thousand men a year, 
and do that for twenty years, on the condition that no more 
would be asked of them. They would save — the dissipating 
club-houses of this country would save — hundreds of home- 
steads, and bodies, minds, and souls innumerable. The ten 
thousand they furnish a year by contract would be small 
when compared with the vaster multitudes they furnish with- 
out contract. But I make a vast difference between the 
club houses. I have during my life belonged to four clubs 
— a baseball club, a theological club, and two literary clubs. 
They were to me physical recuperation, mental food, moral 

Now, what is the principle by which we are to judge in 
regard to the profitable or baleful influence of a club-house? 
That is the practical and the eternal question which hun- 
dreds of men to-day are settling. First, I would have you 
test your club-house by the influence it has upon your home, 
if you have a home. I have been told by a prominent member 
of one of the clubs that three fourths of the members are mar- 
ried men. That wife has lost her influence with her husband 
who takes every evening's absence as an assault upon domes- 
ticity. How are the great enterprises of art and literature 

276 CLUBS. 

and education and public weal to go on if every man has bis 
world bounded by his front doorstep on one side and his back 
window on the other, his thoughts rising no higher than his 
own attic, going down no deeper than his own cellar? 
When a wife objects to a husband's absence for some ele- 
vating purpose, she breaks her scepter of conjugal power. 
There should be no protest on the part of the wife if the 
husband goes forth to some practical, useful, honorable mis- 
sion. But, alas ! for the fact that so many men sacrifice all 
home-life for the club-house. I have in my house the roll 
of the members of many of the clubs of our great cities, and 
I could point you to the names of many who have commit- 
ted this awful sacrilege. Genial as angels at the club-house, 
ugly as sin at home. Generous to a fault for all wine sup- 
pers and yachts and horse races, but stingy about the wife's 
dress and the children's shoes. That which might have 
been a healthful recreation has become a usurpation of his 
affections, and he has married it and he is guilty of moral 

Under that process, whatever be the wife's features, she 
becomes uninteresting and homely. He criticises every- 
thing about her. He does not like her dress, he does not 
like the way she arranges her hair, he cannot see how he 
ever was so unromantic as to offer his hand and heart. It is 
all the time talk about money, money, money, when she 
ought to be talking about Dexters and Derby Days and En- 
glish drags, with six horses all under control of one ribbon. 
There are hundreds of homes being clubbed to death. 

Membership in some of these clubs always means domes- 
tic shipwreck. Tell me a man has become a member of a 
certain club, and tell me nothing more about him for ten 
years, and I will write his accurate biography. By that 
time he is a wine-guzzler, and his wife is broken-hearted or 
prematurely old, and his property is lost or reduced, and his 
home is a mere name in a directory. 


278 CLUBS. 

Another test by which you may try a club-house, is the 
question, What is the influence of that institution upon one's 
secular occupation? I can see how through a club-house 
men may advance their commercial interests. I have 
friends who have formed their best mercantile relations 
through such institutions. But what has been the influence 
of the one with which you are connected upon your worldly 
credit? Are people more cautious now how they let you 
have goods? Before you joined the club was your credit 
with the commercial agency, Ai? and has it gone clear down 
in the scale? Then beware! We every day hear the going 
to pieces of commercial establishments through the dissipa- 
tions of some club-house libertine or club house drunkard 
who has wasted his estate, and wasted the estates of others. 
The fortune is beaten to pieces with the ball-player's bat, or 
cut amidship by the prow of a regatta, or falls under the sharp 
hoof of the fast horse, or is drowned in the potions of Cog- 
nac and Monongahela. The man's club house was the Loch 
Earn, his occupation was the Ville du Havre. They struck 
on the high seas, and the Ville du Havre went under. 

Another test by which you may try all the club-houses is 
the question. What influence will that institution have upon 
my sense of moral and spiritual obligation? Now, here are 
two roads into the future, the Christian and the unchristian, 
the safe and the unsafe. Any institution or any association 
that confuses my idea in regard to that fact is a bad institu- 
tion and a bad association. I had prayers before I joined 
the club. Did I have them after? I attended the house of 
God before I connected myself with the club. • Since that 
union with the club do I absent myself from religious influ- 
ences? Which would you rather have in your hand when 
you come to die, a pack of cards or a Bible? Which would 
you rather have pressed to your lips in the closing moment, 
the cup of Belshazzarean wassail or the chalice of Christian 
communion? Who would you rather have for your pall- 

clubs. 279 

bearers, the elders of a Christian church, or the companions 
whose conversation was full of slang and innuendo ? Who 
would you rather have for your eternal companions, those 
men who spend their evenings betting, gambling, swearing, 
carousing, and telling vile stories, or your little child, that 
bright girl whom the Lord took? 

Let me say to fathers who are becoming dissipated, your 
sons will follow you. You think your son does not know. 
He knows all about it. I have heard men who say, "I am 
profane, but never in the presence of my children." Your 
children know you swear. I have heard men say, "I drink, 
but never in the presence of my children." Your children 
know you drink. I describe now what occurs in hundreds of 
households in this country. The tea-hour has arrived. The 
family are seated at the tea-table. Before the rest of the 
family arise from the table, the father shoves back his chair, 
says he has an engagement, lights a cigar, goes out, comes 
back after midnight, and that is the history of three hundred 
and sixty-five nights of the year. Does any man want to 
stultify himself by saying that that is healthy, that that is 
right, that that is honorable? Would your wife have mar- 
ried you with such prospects? 

Time will pass on, and the son will be sixteen or seven- 
teen years of age, and you will be at the tea-table, and he 
shove back and have an engagement, and he will light his 
cigar, and he will go out to the club-house, and you will hear 
nothing of him until you hear the night key in the door after 
midnight. But his physical constitution is not quite as 
strong as yours, and the liquor he drinks is more terriffically 
drugged than that which you drink, and so he will catch up 
with you on the road to death, though you got such a long 
start of him, and so you will both go to hell together. 

The revolving Drummond light in front of a hotel, in 
front of a locomotive, may flash this way, and flash that, 
upon the mountains, upon the ravines, upon the city; but I 

280 CLUBS. 

take the lamp of God's eternal truth, and I flash it upon all 
the club-houses of these cities, so that no young man shall 
be deceived. By these tests try them, try them ! Oh, leave 
the dissipating influences of the club-room, if the influences 
of your club-room are dissipating! Paid your money, have 
you? Better sacrifice that than your soul. Good fellows, 
are they? Under that process they will not remain such. 
Mollusca may be found two hundred fathoms down beneath 
the Norwegian seas; Siberian stag get fat on the stunted 
growth of Altain peaks ; Hedysarium grows amid the desola- 
tion of Sahara; tufts of osier and birch grow on the hot lips 
of volcanic Sneehattan ; but a pure heart and an honest life 
thrive in a dissipating club-house— never ! 

The way to conquer a wild beast is to keep your eye on 
him, but the way for you to conquer your temptations, my 
friend, is to turn your back on them and fly for your life. 

Oh, my heart aches ! I see men struggling against evil 
habits, and they want help. I have knelt beside them, and 
I have heard them cry for help, and then we have risen, and 
he has put one hand on my right shoulder, and the other 
hand on my left shoulder, and looked into my face with an 
infinity of earnestness which the judgment day will have no 
power to make me forget, as he has cried out with his lips 
scorched in ruin, "God help me!" For such there is no 
help except in the Lord God Almighty. To His grace I 
commend you. 




Outside of the city of Jerusalem, there was a sensitive 
watering-place, the popular resort for invalids. To this day, 
there is a dry basin of rock which shows that there must 
have been a pool there three hundred and sixty feet long, one 
hundred and thirty feet wide, and seventy-five feet deep. 
This pool was surrounded by five piazzas, or porches, or 
bathing-houses, where the patients tarried until the time 
when they were to step into the water. So far as reinvigora- 
tion was concerned, it must have been a Saratoga and a 
Long Branch on a small scale; a Leamington and a Brighton 
combined — medical arid therapeutic. Tradition says that at 
a certain season of the year there was an officer of the gov- 
ernment who would go down to that water and pour in it 
some healing quality, and after that the people would come 
and get the medication; but I prefer the plain statement of 
Scripture, that at a certain season, an angel came down and 
stirred up or troubled the water; and then the people came 
and got the healing. That angel of God that stirred up the 
Judean watering-place had his counterpart in the angel of 
healing that, in our day, steps into the mineral waters of 
Congress, or Sharon, or Sulphur Springs, or into the salt sea 
at Cape May and Nabant, where multitudes who are worn out 
with commercial and professional anxieties, as well as those 
who are afflicted with rheumatism, neuralgic, and splenetic 
diseases, go, and are cured by the thousands. These Bethes- 
das are scattered all up and down our country, blessed be 

ffe are at a season of the year when railway trains are 




being laden with passengers and baggage on their way to the 
mountains, and the lakes, and the sea-shore. Multitudes of 

our citizens are packing their trunks for a restorative absence. 
The city heats are pursuing the people with torch and fear of 


sunstroke. The long silent balls of sumptuous hotels are 
all abuzz with excited arrivals. The crystalline surface of 
Winnepesaukee is shattered with the stroke of steamers laden 
with excursionists. The antlers of Adirondack deer rattle 
under the shot of city sportsmen. The trout make fatal 
snap at the hook of adroit sportsmen, and toss their spotted 
brilliance' into the game basket. Soon the baton of the 
orchestral leader will tap the music-stand on the hotel green, 
and American life will put on festal array, and the rumb- 
ling of the tenpin alley; and the crack of the ivory balls on 
the green-baized billiard tables, and the jolting of the bar. 
room goblets, and the explosive uncorking of champagne 
bottles, and the whirl and the rustle of the ball-room dance, 
and the clattering hoofs of the race-courses, will attest that 
the season for the great American watering-places is fairly 
inaugurated. Music! Flute, and drum, and cornet-a-piston, 
and clapping cymbals, will wake the echoes of the mountains. 
Glad I am that fagged-out American life, for the most part, 
will have an opportunity to rest, and that nerves racked and 
destroyed will find a Bethesda. 

Let not the commercial firm begrudge the clerk, or the 
employer the journeyman, or the patient the physician, or 
the church its pastor, a season of inoccupation. Luther 
used to sport with his children; Edmund Burke used to 
caress his favorite horse; and the busy Christ said to the 
busy apostles: "Come ye apart awhile in the desert, and rest 
yourselves." And I have observed that they who do not 
know how to rest, do not know how to work. 

But I have to declare this truth, that some of our fashion- 
able watering-places are the temporal and eternal destruction 
of "a multitude that no man can number." I must utter a 
note of warning, plain, earnest and unmistakable. The 
first temptation that is apt to hover in this direction is to 
leave your piety all at home. You will send the dog, and 
cat, and canary-bird to be well cared for somewhere else ; but 


the temptation will be to leave your religion in the room 
with the blinds down and the door bolted, and then you will 
come back in the autumn to find that it is starved and suffo- 
cated, lying- stretched on the rug, stark dead. There is no 
surplus of piety at the watering-places. I never knew any- 
one to grow very rapidly in grace at the Catskill Mountain 
House, or Sharon Springs, or the Falls of Montmorency. 
It is generally the case that the Sabbath is more of a carousal 
than any other day, and there are Sunday walks, Sunday 
rides, and Sunday excursions. Elders and deacons and min- 
isters of religion, who are entirely consistent at home, some- 
times when the Sabbath dawns on them at Niagara Falls or 
the White Mountains, take the day to themselves. If they 
go to the church, it is apt to be a sacred parade, and the 
discourse, instead of being a plain talk about the soul, is apt 
to be what is called a crack sermon — that is, some discourse 
picked out of the effusions of the year as the one most 
adapted to excite admiration; and in those churches, from 
the way the ladies hold their fans, you know that they« are 
not so much impressed with the heat as with the picturesque- 
mess of half disclosed features. Four puny souls stand in 
the organ loft and squall a tune that nobody knows, and 
worshippers, with two thousand dollars worth of diamonds 
on the right hand, drop a cent into the poor-box, and then the 
benediction is pronounced, and the farce is ended. 

The air is bewitched with the "world, the flesh and 
devil." There are Christians who, in three or four weeks in 
such a place, have had such terrible rents made in their 
Christian robe, that they had to keep darning it until Christ- 
mas to get it mended. The health of a great many people 
makes an annual visit to some mineral spring an absolute 
necessity; but take your Bible along with you, and take an 
hour for secret prayer every day, though you be surrounded 
by guffaw and saturnalia. Keep holy the Sabbath, though 
they deride you as a bigoted Puritan. Stand off from John 


Morrissey's gambling hell and those other institutions which 
propose to imitate on this side the "water the iniquities of 
Baden-Baden. Let your moral and immortal health keep 
pace with your physical recuperation and remember that all 
the waters of Hathorne, and sulphur and chalybeate springs 
cannot do you so much good as the mineral, healing, peren- 
nial flood that breaks forth from the " Bock of Ages." This 
may be your last summer. If so, make it a fit vestibule of 

Another temptation hovering around nearly all our 
watering-places is the horse-racing business. We all admire 
the horse ; but we do not think that its beauty or speed ought 
to be cultured at the expense of human degredation. The 
horse race is not of such importance as the human race. 
The Bible intimates that a man is better than a sheep, and 
I suppose he is better than a horse, though like Job's stall- 
ion, his neck be clothed with thunder. Horse-races in olden 
times were under the ban of Christian people ; and in our 
day the same institution has come up under fictitious names. 
And it is called a " Summer Meeting," almost suggestive of 
positive religious exercises. And it is called an "Agricultural 
Fair," suggestive of everything that is improving in the art 
of farming. But under these deceptive titles are the same 
cheating, and the same betting, and the same drunkenness, 
and the same vagabondage, and the same abomination that 
were to be found under the old horse-racing system. I never 
knew a man yet who could give himself to the pleasures of 
the turf for a long reach of time and not be battered in 
morals. They hook up their spanking team, and put on 
their sporting cap, and take the reins and dash down the road 
to perdition! The great day at Saratoga, and Long Branch, 
and. Atlantic City, and nearly all the other watering-places is 
the day of the races. The hotels are thronged, every kind of 
equipage is taken up at at an almost fabulous price; and there 
are many respectable people mingling with jockeys and gamblers 



andlibertines and foul-mouthed men and.flashy women . The 
bar-tender stirs up the brandy-smash. The bets run high. 
The greenhorns, supposing all is fair, put in their money 

scenes at Atlantic city, new jeesey. 

soon enough to lose it. Three weeks before the race takes 
place the struggle is decided, and the men in the secret know 
on which steed to bet their money. The two men on the 
horses riding around, long ago arranged who shall win. 


Leaning from the stand, or from the carriage, are men and 
women so absorbed in the struggle of bone and muscle and 
mettle, that they make a grand harvest for the pickpockets 
who carry off the pocketbooks and the portemonnaies. Men, 
looking on, see only two horses with two riders flying around 
the ring; but there is many a man on that stand whose 
honor and domestic happiness and fortune — white mane, white 
foot, white flank — are in the ring, racing with inebriety, and 
with fraud, and with profanity, and with ruin, — black neck, 
black foot, black flank. Neck and neck they go in that 
moral Epsom. White horse of honor; black horse of ruin. 
Death says : " I will bet on the black horse." Spectator says : 
" I will bet on the white horse." The white horse of honor 
a little way ahead. The black horse of ruin, Satan mounted, 
all the time gaining on him. Spectator breathless. Put on 
the lash. Dig in the spurs. There! They are past the 
stand. Sure. Just as I expected it. The black horse 
of ruin has v^on the race, and all the galleries of darkness 
"huzza! huzza!" and the devils come in to pick up 
their wagers. Have nothing to do with horse-racing dissipa- 
tions. Long ago the English government got through look- 
ing to the turf for the dragoon and light cavalry horse. 
They found the turf depreciates the stock; and it is yet 
worse for men. Thomas Hughes, the member of Parlia- 
ment, and the author known all the world over, hearing that 
a new turf enterprise was being started in this country, wrote 
a letter in which he said: " Heaven help you, then; for of 
all the cankers of our old civilization, there is nothing in 
this country approaching in unblushing meanness, in rascal- 
ity holding its head high, to this belauded institution of the 
British turf." Another famous sportsman writes: "How 
many fine domains have been shared among these hosts of 
rapacious sharks during the last two hundred years; and un- 
less the system be altered, how many more are doomed to 
fall into the same gulf !" The Duke of Hamilton, through 


his horse-racing proclivities, in three years got through his 
entire fortune of £70,000; and I will say that some of you 
are being undermined by it. With the bull-fights of Spain 
and the bear-baitings of the pit, may the Lord God anni- 
hilate the infamous arid accursed horse-racing of England 
and America. 

I go further and speak of another temptation that hovers 
over the watering place ; and this is the temptation to sacrifice 
physical strength. The modern Bethesda was intended to 
recuperate the physical health ; and yet how many come from 
the watering-places, their health absolutely destroyed; sim- 
pletons, boasting of having imbibed twenty glasses of Con- 
gress water before breakfast. Families, accustomed to going 
to bed at ten o'clock at night, gossiping until one or two 
o'clock in the morning. Dyspeptics, usually very cautious 
about their health, mingling ice-creams and lemons and 
lobster salads and cocoanuts, until the gastric juices lift up 
all their voices of lamentation and protest. Delicate women 
and brainless young men dancing themselves into vertigo and 
catalepsy. Thousands of men and women coming back from 
our watering-places in the autumn with the foundations laid 
for ailments that will last them all their life long. You know 
as well as I do that this is the simple truth. In the summer, 
you say to your good health : " Good-bye ; I am going to 
have a gay time now for a little while ; I will be very glad to 
see you again in the autumn." Then in the autumn, when 
you are hard at work in your office, or store, or shop, or 
counting-room, Good Health will come in and say, "Good- 
bye; I am going." You say: "Where are you going?" 
"Oil," says Good Health, "I am going to take a vacation." 
It is a poor rule that will not work both ways, and your good 
health will leave you choleric and splenetic and exhausted. 
You coquetted with your good health in the summer time, 
and your good health is coquetting with you in the winter 
time. A fragment of Paul's charge to the jailor would be an 


appropriate inscription for the hotel register in every water- 
ing-place: "Do thyself no harm." 

Another temptation hovering around the watering-place 
is the formation of hasty and life-long alliances. The water- 
ing-places are responsible for more of the domestic infelici- 
ties of this country than all other things combined. Society 
is so artificial there that no sure judgment of character can 
be formed. They who form companionships amid such cir- 
cumstances, go into a lottery where there are twenty blanks 
to one prize. In the severe tug of life you want more than 
glitter and splash. Life is not a ball-room, where the music 
decides the step, and bow, and prance, and graceful swing of 
long trail can make up for strong common sense. You might 
as well go among the gaily-painted yachts of a summer 
regatta to find war vessels, as to go among the light spray of 
the summer watering-place to find character that can stand 
the test of the great struggle of human life. Ah, in the 
battle of life you want a stronger weapon than a lace fan or 
a croquet mallet ! The load of life is so heavy that in order 
to draw it you want a team stronger than one made up of a 
masculine grasshopper and a feminine butterfly. If there is 
any man in the community that excites my contempt, and 
that ought to excite the contempt of every man and woman, 
it is tbe soft-handed, soft-headed fop, who, perfumed until 
the air is actually sick, spends his summer in taking killing 
attitudes, and waving sentimental adieus, and talking infini- 
tesimal nothings, and finding his heaven in the set of a 
lavender kid-glove. Boots as tight as an inquisition. Two 
hours of consummate skill exhibited in the tie of a flaming 
cravat. His conversation made up of "Ahs!" and"Ohs!" 
and"He-hes!" It would take five hundred of them stewed 
down to make a teaspoonful of calf's foot jelly. There is 
only one counterpart to such a man as that, and that is the 
frothy young woman at the watering-place ; her conversation 
made iip of French moonshine; what she has in her head 


only equaled by what she has on her back ; useless ever since 
she was born, and to be useless until she is dead, useless 
until she becomes an intelligent Christian. We may admire 
music, and fair faces, and graceful step; but amid the heart- 
lessness, and the inflation, and the fantastic influences of our 
modern watering-places, beware how you make life-long 

Another temptation that will hover over the watering- 
place is that of baneful literature. Almost every one start- 
ing off for the summer takes some reading matter. It is a 
book out of the library, or off the bookstand, or bought of 
the boy hawking books through the cars. I really believe 
there is more pestiferous trash read among the intelligent 
classes in July and August, than in all the other ten months 
of the year. Men and women who at home would not be 
satisfied with a book that was not really sensible, I find sit- 
ting on hotel piazza, or under the trees, reading books, the 
index of which would make them blush if they knew that you 
knew what the book was. " Oh," they say, " you must have 
intellectual recreation." Yes. There is no need that you 
take along into a watering place " Hamilton's Metaphysics," 
or some ponderous discourse on the eternal decrees, or 
"Faraday's Philosophy." There are many easy books that 
are good. You might as well say, "I propose now to give 
a little rest to my digestive organs, and instead of eating 
heavy meat and vegetables, I will, for a little while, take 
lighter food — a little strychnine and a few grains of rats- 
bane." Literary poison in August is as bad as literary poi- 
son in December. Throw out all that stuff from your sum- 
mer baggage. Are there not good books that are easy to 
read — books of entertaining travel, books of congenial 
history, books of pure fun, books of poetry, ringing with 
rnerry canto, books, of fine engraving, books that will rest 
the mind as well as purify the heart and elevate the whole 
life? My hearers, there will not be an hour between this 


and the day of your death when you can afford to read a book 
lacking in moral principle. 

Another temptation hovering all around our watering- 
places, is to intoxicating beverage. I am told that it is 
becoming more and more fashionable for women to drink; 
and it is not very long ago that a lady of great respectability 
in this city, having taken two glasses of wine away from 
home, became violent, and her friends, ashamed, forsook 
her, and she was carried to a police station, and afterward to 
her disgraced home. I care not how well a woman may dress, if 
she has taken enough of wine to flush her cheek and put a 
glassiness on her eye, she is intoxicated. She may be handed 
into a twenty-five hundred dollar carriage, and have diamonds 
enough to confound the Tiffany's — she is intoxicated. She 
may be a graduate of Packer Institute, and the daughter of 
some man in danger of being nominated for the Presidency 
— she is drunk. You may have a larger vocabulary than I 
have, and you may say in regard to her that she is "convivial, " 
or she is "merry," or she is "festive," or she is "exhilarated;" 
but you cannot with all your garlands of verbiage, cover up 
the plain fact that it is an old-fashioned case of drunk. Now 
the watering-places are full of temptations to men and women 
to tipple. At the close of the tenpin or billiard game, they 
tipple. At the close of the cotillion, they tipple. Seated on 
the piazza cooling themselves off, they tipple. The tinged 
glasses come around with bright straws, and they tipple. 
First, they take "light wines," as they call them; but "light 
wines" are heavy enough to debase the appetite. There is 
not a very long road between champagne at five dollars a 
bottle and whiskey at ten cents a glass. Satan has three or 
four grades down which he takes men to destruction. One 
man he takes up, and through one spree pitches him into 
eternal darkness. That is a rare case. Very seldom, indeed, 
can you find a man who will be such a fool as that. Satan 
will take another man to a grade, to a descent at an angle 



about like the Pennsylvania coal-shoot or the Mount "Wash- 
ington rail-track, and shove him off. But that is very rare. 
When a man goes down to destruction, Satan brings him to 
a plane. It is almost a level. The depression is so slight 
that you can hardly see it. The man does not actually know 
that he is on the down grade, and it tips only a little toward 


darkness — just a little. And the first mile it is claret, and 
the second mile it is sherry, and the third mile it is punch, 
and the fourth mile it is ale, and the fifth mile it is porter, 
and the sixth mile it is brandy, and then it gets steeper, and 
steeper, and steeper, and the man gets frightened and says: 
" 0, let me get off." "No," says the conductor, "this is an 
express-train, and it don't stop until it gets to the Grand 
Central depot of Smashupton!" Ah, "Look not thou upon 
the wine when it is red, when it giveth its color in the cup, 


when it naoveth itself aright. At the last it biteth like a 
serpent, and stingeth like an adder. ' ' 

My friends, whether you tarry at home — which will be 
quite as safe and perhaps quite as comfortable — or go into 
the country, arm yourself against temptation. The grace of 
God is the only safe shelter, whether in town or country. 



Paul called the long roll of the world's villainy, and he 
put in the midst of this roll those persons known in all cities 
and communities and places as whisperers. They are so 
called hecause they generally speak under voice and in a 
confidential way, their hand to the side of their mouth act- 
ing as a funnel to keep the precious information from wan- 
dering into the wrong ear. They speak softly, not because 
they have lack of lung force, or because they are overpowered 
with the spirit of gentleness, but because they want to escape 
the consequences of defamation. If no one hears but the person 
whispered unto and the offender be arraigned, he can deny 
the whole thing, for whisperers are always first-class liars ! 
Some people whisper because they are hoarse from a cold, or 
because they wish to convey some useful information with- 
out disturbing others ; but the creatures photographed by the 
apostle give muffled utterance from sinister and depraved 
motive, and sometimes you can only hear the sibilant sound 
as the letter "S" drops from the tongue into the listening 
ear, the brief hiss of the serpent as it projects its venom. 
Whisperers are masculine and feminine with a tendency to 
majority on the side of those who are called "the lords of cre- 
ation." Whisperers are heard at every window of bank 
cashier, and are heard in all counting rooms as well as in 
sewing societies and at meetings of asylum directors and 
managers. They are the worst foes of society; responsible 
for miseries innumerable; they are the scavengers of the 
world, driving their cart through every community, and I hold 
up for your holy anathema and execration these whisperers. 



From the frequency with which Paul speaks of them 
under different titles, I conclude that he must have suffered 
somewhat from them. His personal presence was very de- 
fective, and that made him, perhaps, the target of their ridj- 
cule. And besides that, he was a bachelor, persisting in his 
celibacy down into the sixties, indeed, all the way through, 
and some having failed in their connubial designs upon him, 
the little missionary was put under the raking fire of these 
whisperers. He was no doubt a rare morsel for their scan- 
dalization: and he cannot keep his patience any longer and 
he lays hold of these miscreants of the tongue and gives 
them a very hard setting down among the scoundrelly and 
the murderers. "Envy, murder, depate, deceit, malignity: 

The law of libel makes quick and stout grip of open slan- 
der. If I should in a plain way charge you with fraud, or 
theft, or murder, or uncleanness, to-morrow morning I might 
have peremptory documents served on me, and I would have 
to pay in dollars and cents for the damage I had done your 
character. But these creatures spoken of are so small that 
they escape the fine tooth-comb of the law. They go on and 
they go on, escaping the judges and the juries and the peni- 
tentiaries. The district attorney cannot find them, the 
sheriff cannot find them, the grand jury cannot find them. 
Shut them off from one route of perfidy and they start on 
another. You cannot by the force of moral sentiment per- 
suade them to desist. You might as well read the ten com- 
mandments to a flock of crows, expecting them to retreat 
under the force of moral sentiment. They are to be found 
everywhere, these whisperers. I think their paradise is a 
country village of about one or two thousand people where 
everybody knows everybody. But they also are to be found 
in large quantities in all our cities. They have a prying dis- 
position. They look into the basement windows at the tables 
of their neighbors, and can tell just what they have morning 


and night to eat. They can see as far through a key-hole as 
other people can see with a door wide open. They can hear 
conversation on the opposite side of the room. Indeed, the 
world to them is a whispering gallery. They always put the 
worst construction on everything. » 

Some morning a wife descends into the street, her eyes 
damp with tears, and that is a stimulus to the tattler and is 
enough to set up a business for three or four weeks. "I 
guess that husband and wife don't live happily together. I 
wonder if he hasn't been abusing her? It's outrageous. He 
ought to be disciplined. He ought to be brought up before 
the church. I'll go right over to my neighbors and I'll let 
them know about this matter." She rushes in all out of 
breath to a neighbor's house and says: "Oh, Mrs. Allear, 
have you heard the dreadful news? Why, our neighbor, poor 
thing, came down off the steps in a flood of tears. That 
brute of a husband has been abusing her. Well, it's just as 
I expected. I saw him the other afternoon very smiling and 
very gracious to some one who smiled back, and I thought 
then I would just go up to him and tell him he had better 
go home and loo& after his wife and family who probably at 
that very time were upstairs crying their eyes out. Oh, Mrs. 
Allear, do have your husband go over and put an end to this 
trouble! It's simply outrageous that our neighborhood should 
be disturbed in this way. It's awful." The fact is that one 
man or woman set on fire of this hellish srnrit will keep a 
whole neighborhood aboil. It does not require any very 
great brain. The chief requisition is that the woman have a 
small family or no family at all, because if she - have a large 
family then she would have to stay at home and look after 
them. It is very important that she be single, or have no 
children at all, and then she can attend to all the secrets of 
the neighborhood all the time. A woman with a large family 
makes a very poor whisperer. 

It is astonishing how these whisperers gather up every- 


thing. They know everything that happens. They have 
telephone and telegraph wires reaching from their cars to all 
the houses in the neighborhood. They have no taste for -J 
healthy news, but for the scraps and peelings thrown out of 
the scullery into the back yard they have great avidity. On 
the day when there is a new scandal in the newspapers, they 
have no time to go abroad. On the day when there are four 
or five columns of delightful private letters published in a 
divorce case, she stays at home and reads and reads and 
reads. No time for her Bible that day, but toward night, 
perhaps, she may find time to run out a little while and see 
whether there are any new developments. Satan does not 
have to keep a very sharp lookout for his evil dominion in 
that neighborhood. He has let out to her the whole con- 
tract. She gets husbands and wives into a quarrel, and 
brothers and sisters into antagonism, and she disgusts the 
pastor with the flock and the flock with the pastor, and she 
makes neighbors, who before were kindly disposed toward 
each other, over suspicious and critical, so when one of the 
neighbors passes by in a carriage they hiss through their 
teeth and say: "Ah, we could all keep carriages if we never 
paid our debts !" 

When two or three whisperers get together they stir a 
caldron of trouble which makes me think of the three witches 
of Macbeth dancing around a boiling caldron in a dark cave : 

"Double, double, toil and trouble, * 

Fire burn and caldron bubble. 

Fillet of a fenny snake 

In the caldron boil and bake; 

Eye of newt, and toe of frog, 

Wool of bat, and tongue of dog, 

Adder's fork, and blind worm's sting, 

Lizard's leg, and owlet's wing, 

For a charm of powerful trouble, 

Like a hell both boil and bubble, 

Double, double, toil and trouble, 



Fire burn and caldron bubble, 
Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf, 
Witches' mummy; maw and gulf 
Of the ravin'd salt-sea shark; 
Make the gruel thick and stark; 
Add thereto a tiger's chaudron 
For the ingredients of our caldron. 
Double, double, toil and trouble, 
Fire burn and caldron bubble. 
Cool it Avith a baboon's blood; 
Then the charm is firm and good." 

I would only change Shakespeare in this, that, where he 
puts the word witch I would put the word whisperer. Ah, 

what a caldron! Did, you 
ever get a taste out of it? I 
have more respect for the poor 
waif of the street that goes 
down under the gaslight, 
with no home and no God 
— for she deceives no one as 
to what she is — than I have 
for these hags of respectable 
society who cover up their 
tiger claws with a fine shawl, 
and holt the hell of their heart 
with a diamond breast-pin! 
The work of the masculine whisperers is chiefly seen in 
the embarrassment of business. Now, I suppose out of the 
numberless men who at some time have been in business 
trouble in nine cases out of ten it was the result of some 
whisperer's work. The whisperer uttered some suspicion in 
regard to your credit. You sold your horse and carriage 
because you had no use for them, and the whisperer said: 
"Sold his horse and carriage because he had to sell them. 
The fact that he sold his horse and carriage shows he is 
going down in business." One of your friends gets embar- 



rassed, and you are a little involved with him. The whis- 
perer says : ' 'I wonder if he can stand under all this pres- 
sure? I think he is going down. I think he will have to 
give up." You borrow money out of a bank and a director 
whispers outside about it, and after awhile the suspicion gets 
fairly started, and it leaps from one whisperer's lip to another 
whisperer's lip until all the people you owe want their money 
and want it right away, and the business circles come around 
you like a pack of wolves, and though you had assets four 
times more than were necessary to meet your liabilities, 
crash ! went everything. Whisperers ! whisperers ! Oh, how 
much business men have suffered. Sometimes in the circles 
of clergymen we discuss why it is that a great many mer- 
chants do not go to church. I will tell you why they do not 
go to church. By the time Saturday night comes they are 
worn out with the annoyances of business life. They have 
had enough meanness practiced upon them to set their whole 
nervous system atwitch. People sometimes do not under- 
stand why in the Brooklyn Tabernacle we generally have 
men in the majority in almost all our audiences. It is 
because I preach so much to business men, and I resolved 
years ago that I would never let a Sunday pass but in prayer 
or sermon I would utter my sympathies for the struggle of 
business men, knowing that struggle as I do in many cases 
to be the work of whisperers. I have seen men whispered 
into bankruptcy. You have seen the same thing. Alas, for 
these gadabouts, these talebearers, these scandal mongers, 
these everlasting snoops! I hate them with an ever-increas- 
ing vehemence of hatred, and I ask God to give me more 
intensity with which to hate them. 

I think among the worst of the whisperers are those who 
gather up all the harsh things that have been said about you 
and bring them to you — all the things said against you, or 
against your family, or against your style of business. They 
gather them all up and they bring them to you, they bring 


them to you in the very worst shape, they bring them to you 
without any of the extenuating circumstances, and after they 
have made your feelings all raw, very raw, they take this 
brine, this turpentine, this aquafortis, and rub it in with a 
coarse towel, and rub it in until it sinks to the bone. They 
make you the pincushion in which they thrust all the sharp 
things they have ever heard about you. "Now, don't bring 
me into a scrape. Now don't tell anybody I told you. Let 
it be between you and me. Don't involve me in it at all." 
They aggravate you to the point of profanity, and then they 
wonder you cannot sing psalm tunes! They turn you on a 
spit before a hot fire and wonder why you are not absorbed 
in gratitude to them because they turn you on a spit. Ped- 
dlers of nightshade. Peddlers of Canada thistle. Peddlers 
of nux vomica. Sometimes .they get you in a corner where 
you cannot very well escape without being rude, and then 
they tell you all about this one, and all about that one, and 
all about the other one, and they talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, 
talk. After awhile they go away leaving the place looking 
like a barnyard after the foxes and weasels have been around ; 
here a wing, and there a claw, and yonder an eye, and there 
a crop. Oh, how they do make the feathers fly! 

Bather than the defamation of good names, it seems to 
me it would be more honorable and useful if you just took a 
box of matches in your pocket and a razor in your hand, 
and go through the streets and see how many houses you 
can burn down and how many throats you can cut. That is 
a better business. The destruction of a man's name is 
worse than the destruction of his life. A woman came in 
confessional to a priest and told him that she had been 
slandering her neighbors. The priest gave her a thistle top 
and said: "You can take that thistle and scatter the seeds 
all over the field." She went and did so, and came back. 
"Now," said the priest, "gather up all those seeds." She 
said, "I can't." "Ah!" he said, "I know you can't; neither 


can you gather up the evil words you spoke about your 
neighbors." All good men and all good women have some- 
times had detractors after them. John Wesley's wife 
whispered about him, whispered all over England, kept on 
whispering about that good man — as good a man as ever 
lived — and kept on whispering until the connubial relation 
was dissolved. 

Jesus Christ had these whisperers after him, and they 
charged him with drinking too much and keeping bad com- 
pany. "A wine bibber and "the friend of publicans and sin- 
ners." You take the best man that ever lived, and put a 
detective on his track for ten years, watching where he goes 
and when he comes, and with a determination to misconstrue 
everything and to think he goes here for a bad purpose, and 
there for a bad purpose, with that determination of destroy- 
ing him, at the end of ten years he will be held despicable in 
the sight of a great many people. 

If it is an outrageous thing to despoil a man's character, 
how much worse is it to damage a woman's reputation? 
Yet that evil goes from century to century, and it is all done 
by whisperers. A suspicion is started. The next whisperer 
who gets hold of it states the suspicion as a proven fact, and 
many a good woman, as honorable as your wife or your 
mother, has been whispered out of all kindly associations, 
and whispered into the grave. Some people say there is no 
hell ; but if there be no hell for such a despoiler of womanly 
character, it is high time that some philanthropist built one ! 
But there is such a place established, and what a time they 
will have when all the whisperers get down there together 
rehearsing things ! Everlasting carnival of mud. Were it 
not for the uncomfortable surroundings, you might suppose 
they would be glad to get there. In that region where they 
are all bad, what opportunities for exploration by these 
whisperers. ■ On earth, to despoil their neighbors, some- 
times they had to lie about them, but down there they can 


say the worst things possible about their neighbors, and tell 
the truth. Jubilee of whisperers. Grand gala day of back- 
biters. Semi-heaven of scandal-mongers stopping their gab- 
ble about their diabolical neighbors only long enough to go 
up to the iron gate and ask some newcomer from the earth, 
"What is the last gossip in our cities here?" 

Now, how are we to war against this iniquity which 
curses every community on earth? First, by refusing to 
listen to or believe a whisperer. Every court of the land 
has for a law, and all decent communities have for a law, 
that you must hold people innocent until they are proved 
guilty. There is only one person worse than the whisperer, 
and that is the man or the woman who listens without pro- 
test. The trouble is, you hold the sack while they fill it. 
The receiver of stolen goods is just as bad as the thief. An 
ancient writer declares that a slanderer and a man who 
receives the slander ought both to be hung— the one by the 
tongue and the other by the ear. And I agree with him. 
When you hear something bad about your neighbors, do not 
go all over and ask about it, whether it is true, and scatter it 
and spread it. You might as well go to a small-pox hospital 
and take a patient and carry him all through the community, 
asking people if they really think it is a case of small-pox. 
That would be very bad for the patient and for all the neigh- 
bors. Do not retail slanders and whisperings. Do not make 
yourself the inspector of warts, and the supervisor of car- 
buncles, and the commissioner for street gutters, and the 
holder of stakes for a dog fight. Can it be that you, an im- 
mortal man, that you, an immortal woman, can find no bet- 
ter business than to become a gutter inspector? 

Besides that, at your family table allow no detraction. 
Teach your children to speak we]l of others. Show them 
the difference between a bee and a wasp — the one gathering 
honey, the other thrusting a sting. I read of a family where 
they kept what they called a slander book, and when any 


slanderous words were uttered in the house ahout anybody, 
or detraction uttered, it was all put down in this book. The 
book was kept carefully. For the first few weeks there were 
a great many entries, but after a while there were no entries 
at all. Detraction stopped in that household. It would be 
a good thing to have a slander book in all households. 

Are any of you given to this habit of whispering about 
others? Let me persuade you to desist. Mount Taurus was 
a great place for eagles, and cranes would fly along that way, 
and they would cackle so loud that the eagles would know of 
their coming and they would pounce upon them and destroy 
them. It is said that the old cranes found this out, and 
before they started on their flight they would always put a 
stone in their mouth so they could not cackle, and then they 
would fly in perfect safety. Oh, my friends, be as wise as 
the old cranes and avoid the folly of the young cranes! Do 
not cackle. If you are whispered about, if you are slandered, 
if you are abused in any circle of life, let me say for your 
encouragement that these whisperers soon run out. They 
may do little damage for a while, but after a while their 
detraction becomes a eulogy, and people understand them 
just as well as though some one chalked all over their over- 
coat or their shawl these words: "Here goes a whisperer. 
Eoom for the leper. Room!" You go ahead and do your 
duty, and God will take care of your reputation. How dare 
you distrust Him? You have committed to Him your souls. 
Can you not trust Him with your reputation ? Get down on 
your knees before God and settle the whole matter there. 
That man whom God takes care of is well sheltered. 

Let me charge you to make right and holy use of the 
tongue. It is loose at one end and can swing either way, 
but it is fastened at the other end to the floor of your mouth, 
and that makes you responsible for the wa} r it wags. Xanthus 
the philosopher told his servant that on the morrow he was 
going to have some friends to dine, and told him to get the 


best thing he could find in the market. The philosopher 
and his guests sat down the next day at the table. They had 
nothing but tongue — four or five courses of tongue — tongue 
cooked in this way and tongue cooked in that way, and the 
philosopher lost his patience and said to his servant, "Didn't 
I tell you to get the best thing in the market?" He said: 
"I did get the best thing in the market. Isn't the tongue 
the organ of sociality, the organ of eloquence, the organ of 
kindness, the organ of worship?" Then Xanthus said: 
"To-morrow I want you to get the worst thing in the market." 
And on the morrow the philosopher sat at the table, and 
there was nothing there but tongue — four or five courses of 
tongue — tongue in this shape and tongue in that shape — and 
the philosopher again lost his patience and said: "Didn't 
I tell you to get the worst thing in the market?" The ser- 
vant replied: "I did; for isn't the tongue the organ of 
blasphemy, the organ of defamation, the organ of lying?" 
Oh, employ the tongue which God so wonderfully created as 
the organ of taste, the organ of deglutition, the organ of 
articulation to make others happy, and in the service of God ! 
If you whisper, whisper good — encouragement to the fallen 
and hope to the lost. Ah, my friends, the time will soon 
come when we will all whisper ! The voice will be enfeebled 
in the last sickness, and though that voice could laugh and 
shout and sing and halloo until the forest echoes answered, 
it will be so feeble then we can only whisper consolation to 
those whom we leave behind, and only whisper our hope of 

While I write there are hundreds whispering their last 
utterances. Oh, when that solemn hour comes to you and 
to me, as come soon it will, may it be found that we did our 
best to serve Christ, and to cheer our comrades in the earthly 
struggle, and that we consecrated not only our hand but our 
tongue to God. So that the shadows that fall around our 
dying pillow shall not be the evening twilight of a 


gathering night, but the morning twilight of an everlasting 
day. This morning, at half-past five o'clock, I looked out of 
my window, and the stars were very dim. I looked out a 
few moments after, and the stars were almost invisible. I 
looked out an hour or two afterward. Not a star was to be 
seen. What was the matter of the stars'? Had they melted 
into darkness? No. They had melted into the glorious 
light of morn. 



There are thousands of ways of telling a lie. A man's 
whole life may be a falsehood and yet never with his lips 
may he falsify once. There is a way of uttering falsehood 
by look, by manner as well as by lip. There are persons 
who are guilty of dishonesty of speech and then afterward 
say " may be ; " call it a white lie, when no lie is that color. 
The whitest lie ever told was as black as perdition. There 
are those so given to dishonesty of speech that they do not 
know when they are lying. With some it is an acquired 
sin, and with others it is a natural infirmity. There are 
those whom you will recognize as born liars. Their whole 
life, from cradle to grave, is filled up with vice of speech. 
Misrepresentation and prevarication are as natural to them 
as the infantile diseases, and are a sort of moral croup or 
spiritual scarlatina. Then there are those who in after life 
have opportunities of developing this evil, and they go 
from deception to deception, and from class to class, until 
they are regularly graduated liars. 

There is something in the presence of natural objects 
that has a tendency to make one pure. The trees never 
issue false stock. The wheat fields are always honest. Eye 
and oats never move out in the night, not paying for the 
place they occupy. Corn shocks never make false assign- 
ment. Mountain brooks are always current. The gold of 
the wheat fields is never counterfeit. But while the tendency 
of agricultural life is to make one honest, honesty is not 
the characteristic of all who come to the city markets from 
the country districts. You hear the creaking of the dishon- 


LIES. 309 

est farm- wagon in almost every street of our great cities, a 
farm- wagon in which there is not one honest spoke or one 
truthful rivet from tongue to tail-board. Again and again 
has domestic economy in our great cities foundered on the 
farmer's firkin. When New York and Brooklyn and Cincin- 
nati and Boston sit down and weep over their sins, West- 
chester and Long Island counties and all the country dis- 
tricts ought to sit down and weep over theirs. 

The tendency in all rural districts is to suppose that sins 
and transgressions cluster in our great cities ; but citizens 
and merchants long ago learned that it is not safe to calcu- 
late from the character of the apples on the top of the farm- 
er's barrel what is the character of the apples all the way 
down toward the bottom. Many of our citizens and mer- 
chants have learned that it is always safe to see the farmer 
measure the barrel of beets. Milk cans are not always hon- 
est. There are those who in country life seem to think they 
have a right to overreach grain-dealers, merchants of all 
styles. They think it is more honorable to raise corn than 
to deal in corn. The producer sometimes practically says 
the merchant: " you get your money easily anyhow." Does 
he get it easy? While the farmer sleeps, and he may go to 
sleep conscious of the fact that his corn and rye are all the 
time progressing and adding to his fortune or his livelihood, 
the merchant tries to sleep while conscious of the fact that 
at any moment the ship may be driving on the rock, or a 
wave sweeping over the hurricane deck spoiling his goods, 
or the speculators may be plotting a monetary revolution, or 
the burglars may be at that moment at his money safe, or 
the fire may have kindled on the very block where his store 
stands. Let those who get their living in the quiet farm 
and barn take the place of one of our city merchants and 
see whether it is so easy. It is hard enough to have the 
hands blistered with out-door work, but it is harder with 
mental anxieties to have the brain consumed. God help the 

310 LIES. 

merchants. And do not let those who live in country life 
come to the conclusion that all dishonesties belong to city 

There are those who apologize for deviations from the 
right and for practical deception by saying it is commercial 
custom. In other words, a lie by multiplication becomes a 
virtue. There are large fortunes gathered in which there is 
not one drop of the sweat of unrequitted toil, and not one 
spark of bad temper flashes from the bronze bracket, and 
there is not one drop of needlewoman's heart's blood on the 
crimson plush; while there are other fortunes about which 
it may be said that on every door-knob and on every figure 
of the carpet, and on every wall there is the mark of dis- 
honor. "What if the hand wrung by toil and blistered until 
the skin comes off should be placed on the exquisite wall 
paper, leaving its mark of blood — four fingers and a thumb ; 
or, if in the night the man should be aroused from his 
slumber again and again by his own conscience, getting him- 
self up on elbow and crying out into the darkness, " Who is 

There are large fortunes upon which God's favor comes 
down, and it is just as honest and just as Christian to be 
affluent as it is to be poor. In many a house there is a 
blessing on every pictured wall and on every scroll, and on 
every traceried window, and the joy that flashes in the lights, 
and that showers in the music, and that dances in the quick 
feet of the children pattering through the hall has in it the 
favor of God and the approval of man. And there are 
thousands and tens of thousands of merchants who from the 
first day they sold a yard of cloth, or a firkin of butter, have 
maintained their integrity. They were born honest, they 
will live honest, and they will die honest. 

But you and I know that there are in commercial life 
those who are guilty of great dishonesties of speech. A 
merchant says: " I am selling these goods at less than cost." 

LIES. 311 

Is lie getting for those goods a price inferior to that which he 
paid for them? Then he has spoken the truth. Is he getting 
more? Then he lies. A merchant says: "I paid twenty- 
five dollars for this article." Is that the price he paid for 
it? All right. But suppose he paid for it twenty-three dol- 
lars instead of twenty five dollars. Then he lies. 

But there is just as many falsehoods before the counter 
as there are behind the counter. A customer comes in and 
asks: " How much is this article?" "It is five dollars." 
" I can get that for four somewhere else." Can he get it for 
four somewhere else, or did he say that just for the purpose 
of getting it cheap by depreciating the value of the goods ? 
If so, he lied. A man unrolls upon the counter a bale of 
handkerchiefs. The customer says: "Are these all silk?" 
"Yes." "No cotton in them?" "No cottoii in them." 
Are those handkerchiefs all silk? Then the merchant told 
the truth. Is there any cotton in them? Then he lied. 
Moreover, he defrauds himself, for this customer will after 
a while find out that he has been defrauded, and the next 
time he comes to town and goes shopping, he will look up 
at that sign and say: " No, I won't go there; that's the place 
where I got those handkerchiefs." First, the merchant 
insulted God, and secondly, he picked his own pocket. 

Who would take the responsibility of saying how many 
falsehoods were yesterday told by hardware men, and clothiers, 
and lumbermen, and tobacconists, and jewelers, and import- 
ers, and shippers, and dealers in furniture, and dealers in 
coal, and dealers in groceries? Lies about buckles, about 
saddles, about harness, about shoes, about hats, about coats, 
about shovels, about tongs, about forks, about chairs, about 
sofas, about horses, about lands, about everything. I arraign 
commercial falsehood as one of the crying sins of our time. 

Among the artisans are those upon whom we are depend- 
ent for the houses in which we live, the garments we wear, 
the cars in which we ride. The vast majority of them are, 

312 LIES. 

so far as I know them, men who speak the truth, and they 
are upright, and many of them are foremost in great philan- 
throphies and in churches ; but they all do not belong to that 
class every one knows. In times when there is a great 
demand for labor, it is not so easy for such men to keep their 
obligations, because they may miscalculate in regard to the 
weather, or they may not be able to get the help they antici- 
pated in their enterprise. I am speaking now of those who 
promise to do that which they know they will not be able to 
do. They say they will come on Monday; they do not come 
until "Wednesday. They say they will come Wednesday; 
they do not come until Saturday. They say they will have 
the job done in ten days; they do not get it done before 
thirty. And then when a man becomes irritated and will 
not stand it any longer, then they go and work for him a day 
or two and keep the job along; and then some one else gets 
irritated and outraged and they go and work for that man 
and get him pacified, and then they go somewhere else. I 
believe they call that "nursing the job!" How much dis- 
honor such men would save their souls if they would promise 
to do only that which they know they can do. "Oh," they 
say, "it's of no importance; everybody expects to be deceived 
and disappointed." There is a voice of thunder sounding 
among the saws and hammers and the shears, saying: "All 
liars shall have their place in the lake that burns with fire 
and brimstone." So in all styles of work there are those 
who are not worthy of. their work. 

How much of society is insecure. You hardly know what 
to believe. They send their regards ; you do not exactly know 
whether it is an expression of the heart, or an external civility. 
They ask you to come to their house; you hardly know 
whether they really want you to come. We are all accus- 
tomed to take a discount off of what we hear. Social life is 
struck through with insincerity. They apologize for the fact 
that the furnace is out ; they have not had any fire in it all 

LIES. 313 

winter. They apologize for the fare on their table; they 
never live any better. They decry their most luxuriant enter- 
tainment to win a shower of approval from you. They point 
at a picture on the wall as a work of one of the old masters. 
They say it is an heirloom in the family. It hung on the 
wall of a castle. A duke gave it to their grandfather ! People 
that will lie about nothing else will lie about a picture. On 
small income we want the world to believe we are affluent, 
and society to-day is struck through with cheat and counter- 
feit and sham. How few people are natural! ' Frigidity sails 
around, iceberg grinding against iceberg. You must not 
laugh outright; that is vulgar. You must smile. You must 
not dash quickly across the room ; that is vulgar. You must 
glide. Society is a round of bows and grins and grimaces 
and oh's and ah's and he, he, he's and simperings and namby- 
pambyi&m, a whole world of which is not worth one good 
round of laughter. From such a hollow scene the tortured 
guest retires at the close of the evening, assuring the host 
that he has enjoyed himself. Society is become so contorted 
and deformed in this respect that a mountain cabin where 
the rustics gather at a quilting or an apple -paring has in it 
more good cheer than all the frescoed refrigerators of the 

It is hardly worth your while to ask an extreme Calvinist 
what an Arminian believes. He will tell you an Arminian 
believes that man can save himself. An Arminian believes 
no such thing. It is hardly worth your while to ask an 
extreme Arrninian what a Calvinist believes. He will tell you 
that a Calvinist believes that God made some men just to 
damn them. A Calvinist believes no such thing. It is 
hardly worth your while to ask a Pedo-Baptist what a Baptist 
believes. He will tell you a Baptist believes that immersion 
is necessary for salvation. A Baptist does not believe any 
such thing. It is hardly worth your while to ask a man, 
who very much hates Presbyterians, what a Presbyterian 

314 LIES. 

believes. He will tell you that a Presbyterian believes that 
there are infants in hell a span long, and that very phrase 
ology has come down from generation to generation in the 
Christian Church. There never was a Presbyterian who 
believed that. "Oh," you say, "I heard some Presbyterian 
minister twenty years ago say so." You did not. There 
never was a man who believed that, there never will be a man 
who will believe that. And yet from boyhood I have heard 
that particular slander against a Christian Church going 
down through the community. 

Then how often it is that there are misrepresentations on 
the part of individual churches in regard to other churches — 
especially if a church comes to great prosperity. As long as 
a church is in poverty, and the singing is poor and all the 
surroundings are decrepit, and the congregation are so hardly 
bestead in life that their pastor goes with elbows out, then 
there will always be Christian people in churches who say, 
"what a pity, what a pity!" But let the day of prosperity 
come to a Christian Church, and let the music be triumphant, 
and let there be vast assemblages, and then there will be even 
ministers of the GosjDel critical and denunciatory and full of 
misrepresentation and falsification, giving the impression to 
the outside world that they dojna.tUiJ£&Jahe--ee*n > because it is 
not ground in their mill. Oh, my friends, let us in all 
departments of life stand back from deception. 

"Oh," says some one, "the deception that I practice is so 
small it don't amount to anything." It does amount to a 
great deal. You say, "when I deceive it is only about a case 
of needles, or a box of buttons, or a row of pins." But the 
article may be so small you can put it in your vest pocket, 
but the sin is as big as the pyramids, and the echo of your 
dishonor will reverberate through the mountains of eternity. 
There is no such thing as a small sin. They are all vast and 
stupendous, because they will all have to come under inspec- 
tion in the Day of Judgment. 



Some of you were at South Mountain or Skiloh or Ball's 
Bluff or Gettysburg, and I ask you if there is any sadder 
sight than a battle-field after the guns have stopped firing? 
I walked across the field 
of Antietam just after the 
conflict. The scene was 
so sickening I shall not 
describe it. Every valua- 
ble thing had been taken 
from the bodies of the 
dead, for there are always 
vultures hovering over and 
around about an army, aiia. 
they pick up the watches, 
and the memorandum 
books, and the letters, and 
the daguerreotypes, and the 
hats, and the coats, applying them to their own uses. The 
dead make no resistance. So there are always camp followers 
going on after an army, as when Scott went down into 
Mexico, as when Napoleon marched up toward Moscow, as 
when Van Moltke went to Sedan. Saul and his army had 
been horribly cut to pieces. Mount Gilboa was ghastly with 
the dead. On the morrow the stragglers came on to the field, 
and they lifted the hichet of the helmet from under the chin 
of the dead, and they picked up the swords and bent them 
on their knee to test the temper of the metal, and they opened 
the wallets and counted the coin. Saul lay dead along the 





ground, eight or nine feet in length, and I suppose the eon- 
ardly Philistines, to show their bravery, leaped upon the 
trunk of his carcass_, and jeered at the fallen slain, and 

whistled through the mouth 
of the helmet. Before night, 
those cormorants had taken 
everything valuable from the 
field; "And it came to pass 
on the morrow, when the 
Philistines came to strip the 
slain, that they found Saul 
and his three sons fallen in 
Mount Gilboa." 

I will show you that the 
same process is going on all 
the world over, and every 
day, and that when men have 
fallen, Satan and the world, 
so far from pitying them or 
helping them, go to work remorselessly to take what little is 
left, thus stripping the slain. 

There are tens of thousands of young men every year 
coming from the country to our great cities. They come 
with brave hearts and grand expectations. They think they 
will be Kufus Choates in the law, or Drapers in chemistry, 
or A. T. Stewarts in merchandise. The country lads sit 
down in the village grocery, with their feet on the iron rod 
around the red-hot stove, in the evening, talking over the 
prospects of the young man who has gone off to the city. 
Two or three of them think that perhaps he may get along 
very well and succeed, but the most of them prophesy fail- 
ure; for it is very hard to think that those whom we knew in 
boyhood will ever make any stir in the world. But our 
young man has a fine position in a dry goods store. The 
month is over. He gets his wages. He is not accustomed 



to have so mucn money belonging to himself. He is a little 
excited and does not exactly know what to do with it, and he 
spends it in some places where he ought not. Soon there 
come up new companions and acquaintances from the bar- 
rooms and the saloons of the city. Soon that young man 
begins to waver in the battle of temptation, and soon his 
soul goes down. In a few months or a few years he has 
fallen. He is morally dead. He is a mere corpse of what 
he once was. The harpies of sin snuff up the taint and 
come on the field. His garments gradually give out. He 
has pawned his watch. His health is failing him. His 
credit perishes. He is too poor to stay in the city, and he is 
too poor to pay his way home to the country. Down ! Down ! 
Why do the low fellows of the city now stick to him so 
closely? Is it to help him back to a moral and spiritual 
life? 0, no. I will tell you why they stay ; they are the 
Philistines stripping the slain. 

There is a man who once had a beautiful home. His 
house had elegant furniture, his children were beautifully 
clad, his name was synonymous with honor and usefulness; 
but evil habit knocked at his front door, knocked at his back 
door, knocked at his parlor door, knocked at his bedroom 
door. Where is the piano? Sold to pay the rent. Where 
is the hat-rack? Sold to meet the butcher's bill. Where are 
the carpets? Sold to get bread. Where is the wardrobe? 
Sold to get rum. Where are the daughters? Working 
their fingers off in trying to keep the family together. Worse 
and worse, until everything is gone. Who is that going up 
the front steps of that house? That is a creditor, hoping to 
find some chair or bed that has not been levied upon. 
Who are those two gentlemen now going up the front steps ? 
The one is a constable, the other is the sheriff. Why 
do they go there? The unfortunate is morally dead, 
socially dead, financially dead. Why do they go there? I 
will tell you why the creditors and the constables and the 


sheriffs go there. They are, some on their own account, and 
some on account of the law, stripping the slain. 

An ex-member of Congress, one of the most eloquent 
men that ever stood in the House of Representatives, said in 
his last moments: " This is the end. I am dying — dying 
on a borrowed bed, covered by a borrowed sheet, in a 
house built by public charity. Bury me under that tree in 
the middle of the field, where I shall not be crowded, for I 
have been crowded all my life." Where were the jolly poli- 
ticians and the dissipating comrades who had been with him, 
laughing at his jokes, applauding his eloquence, and plung- 
ing him into sin? They have left. Why? His money is 
gone, his reputation is gone, his wit is gone, his clothes are 
gone, everything is gone. Why should they stay any longer? 
They have completed their work. They have stripped the 

There is another way, however, of doing that same work. 
Here is man who, through his sin, is prostrate. He ac- 
knowledges that he has done wrong. Now is the time for 
you to go to that man and say : " Thousands of people have 
been as far astray as you are, and got back." Now is the 
time for you to goto that man and tell him of the omnipotent 
grace of God that is sufficient for any poor soul. Now is 
the time to go to tell him how swearing John Bunyan, 
through the grace of God, afterwards came to the celestial 
city. Now is the time to go to that man and tell him how 
profligate Newton came, through conversion, to be a world- 
renowned preacher of righteousness. Now is the time to 
tell that man that multitudes who have been^omided^wnjhaJi. 
the flails of sin, and dragged through all the sewers of pol- 
lution, at last have risen to positive dominion of moral power. 
You do not tell him that, do you? No. You say to him, "Loan 
you money? No. You are down. You will have to go to 
the dogs. Lend you a shilling? I would not lend you two 
cents to keep you from the gallows. You are debauched. 


Get out of niy sight now. Down; you will have to stay 
down." And thus these bruised and battered men are some- 
times accosted by those who ought to lift them up. Tims the 
last vestige of hope is taken from them. Thus those who 
ought to go and lift and save them are guilty of stripping the 
slain. The point I want to make is this: Sin is hard, cruel 
and merciless. Instead of helping a man up it helps him 
down; and when, like Saul and his comrades, you lie on the 
field, it will come and steal your sword and helmet and 
shield, leaving you to the jackal and the crow. 

But the world and Satan do not do all their work with the 
outcast and abandoned. A respectable, impenitent man 
comes to die. He is flat on his back. He could not get up 
if the house were on fire. Adroitest medical skill and gen- 
tlest nursing have been a failure. He has come to his last 
hour. What does Satan do for such a man ? Why he fetches 
up all the inapt, disagreeable, and harrowing things in his 
life. He says: " Do you remember those chances you had 
for heaven, and missed them? Do you remember all those 
lapses in conduct? Do you remember all those opprobrious 
words and thoughts and actions? Don't remember them, 
eh? I'll make you remember them." And then he takes all 
the past and empties it on that death- bed, as the mail 
bags are emptied on the post-office floor. The man is sick. 
He cannot get away from them. Then the man says to 
Satan: "You have deceived me. You told me that all would 
be weU. You said there would be no trouble at the last. 
You told me if I did so and so you would do so and so- 
Now you corner me, and hedge me up, and submerge me in 
everything evil." " Ha! ha! " says Satan, "I was only fool- 
ing you. It is mirth for me to see you suffer. I have been 
for thirty years plotting to get you just where you are. It 
is hard for you now — it will be worse for you after a while. 
It pleases me. Lie still, sir. Don't flinch or shudder. 
Come now, I will tear off from you the last rag of expecta- 


tion. I will rend away from your soul the last hope. I will 
leave you bare for the beating of the storm. It is my 
business to strip the slain." 

While men are in robust health, and their digestion is 
good, and their nerves are strong, they think their physical 
strength will get them safely through the last exigency. 
They say it is only cowardly women who are afraid at the 
last, and cry out for God. " Wait till I come to die. I will 
show you. You won't hear me pray, nor call for a minister, 
nor want a chapter read me from the Bible." But after the 
man has been three weeks in a sick room his nerves are not 
so steady, and his worldly companions are not anywhere 
near to cheer him up, and he is persuaded that he must quit 
life, his physical courage is all gone. He jumps at the fall 
of a tea-spoon in a saucer. He shivers at the ide of going 
away. He says : " Wife, I don't think my infidelity is going 
to take me through. For God's sake don't bring up the 
children to do as I have done. If you feel like it I wish you 
you would read a verse or two out of Fannie's Sabbath- 
school hymn-book or New Testament. But Satan breaks 
in, and says • " You have always thought religion trash and 
a lie; don't give up at the last. Besides that, you cannot, 
in the hour you have to live, get off on that track. Die as 
you lived. With my great black wings I shut out that light. 
Die in darkness. I rend away from you that last vestige of 
hope. It is my business to strip the slain." 

A man who had rejected Christianity, and thought it all 
trash, 'came to die. He was in the sweat of a great agony, 
and his wife said: "We had better have some prayer." 
"Mary, not a breath of that," he said. " The lightest word 
of prayer would roll back on me like rocks on a drowning 
man. I have come to the hour of test. I had a chance, and 
I forfeited it. I believed in a liar, and he has left me in the 
lurch. Mary, bring me Tom Paine, the book that I swore by 
and lived by, and pitch it in the fire, and let it burn and burn 


as I myself shall soon burn." And then, with the foam on 
his lip, and his hands tossing "wildly in the air, he cried out: 
"Blackness of darkness! 0, my God, too late!" And the 
spirits of darkness whistled up from the depth, and wheeled 
around and around him, stripping the slain. 

Sin is a luxury now ; it is exhilaration now ; it is victory 
now. But after a while it is collision; it is defeat; it is 
extermination; it is jackalism; it is robbing the dead; it is 
stripping the slain. Give it up. 0, how you have been 
cheated on, from one thing to another. All these years you 
have been under an evil mastery that you understood not. 
What have your companions done for you? What have they 
done for your health? Nearly ruined it by carousal. What 
have they done for your fortune? Almost scattered it by 
spendthrift behavior. What have they done for your reputa- 
tion? Almost ruined it with good men. What have they 
done for your immortal soul. Almost insured its overthrow. 
You ^re hastening on toward the consummation of all that 
is sad. You stop and think, but it is only for a moment, 
and then you will tramp on, and the tremendous fact remains 
that, if impenitent, you are going at eighteen knots an hour 
towards shipwreck ! Yea, you are in a battle where you will 
fall ; and while your surviving relatives will take your remain- 
ing estate, and the cemetery will take your body, the mes- 
sengers of darkness wiU take your soul and come and go about 
you for the next ten million years, stripping the slain. 

Many are crying out: "I admit I am slain, I admit it." 
On what battle-field, my brothers? By what weapon? 
"Polluted imagination," says one man; "Intoxicating liquor," 
says another man; "My own hard heart," says another man. 
Do you realize this? Then I come to tell you that the omnip- 
otent Christ is ready to walk across this battle-field and 
revive and resuscitate and resurrect your dead soul. Let 
Him take your hand and rub away the numbness; your head, 
and bathe off the aching ; your heart, and stop its wild throb. 


He brought Lazarus to life; He brought Jairus's daughter to 
life; He brought the young nian of Nain to life; and these 
are three proofs anyhow that He can bring you to life. 

When the Philistines came down on the field, they stepped 
between the corpses, and they rolled over the dead, and they 
took away everything that was valuable ; and so it was with 
the people that followed after our army at Chancellorsville, 
and at Pittsburg Landing, and at Stone Eiver, and at Atlanta, 
stripping the slain ; but the Northern and Southern women 
— God bless them — came on the field with basins and pads 
and towels and lint and cordials and Christian encourage- 
ment, and the poor fellows that lay. there lifted up their arms 
and said: "Oh, how good that does feel since you dressed 
it;" and others looked up and said: "Oh, how you make me 
think of my mother ; " and others said: "Tell the folks at 
home I died thinking about them;" and another looked up 
and said: "Miss, won't you sing me a verse of 'Home, Sweet 
Home' before I die?" And then the tattoo was sounded, and 
the hats were off, and the service was read: "I am the resur- 
rection and the life," and in honor of the departed the 
muskets were loaded and the command given: "Take aim- 
fire!" And there was a shingle set up at the head of the 

grave with the epitaph of "Lieutenant in the Fourteenth 

Massachusetts Eegulars," or "Captain in the Fifteenth 

Eegiment of South Carolina Volunteers." And so, across 
this great field of moral and spiritual battle, the angels of 
God come walking among the slain, and there are voices of 
comfort and voices of hope and voices of resurrection and 
voices of heaven. 

Oh, the slain! the slain! Christ is ready to give life to 
the dead. He will make the deaf ear to hear, the blind eye 
to see, the pulseless heart to beat, and the damp walls of- 
your spiritual charnel house will crash into ruin at His cry : 
"Come forth!" I verily believe there are souls who are now 
dead in sin, who in half an hour will be alive forever. There 



was a thrilling dream, a glorious dream — you may have 
heard of iti Ezekiel closed his eyes, and he saw two moun- 
tains, and\a valley between the mountains. The valley 
looked as though there had been a great battle there, and a 
whole army had been slain, and they had been unburied; and 
the heat of the land, and the vultures coming there, soon the 
bones were exposed to the sun, and they looked like thou- 
sands of snow drifts all through the valley. Frightful spec- 
tacle! The bleaching skeletons of a host! But Ezekiel still 
kept his eyes shut; and lo, there were four currents of wind 
that struck that battle-field, and when those four currents of 
wind met, the bones began to rattle ; and the foot came to 
the ankle, and the hand came to the wrist, and the jaws 
clashed together, and the spinal column gathered up the 
ganglions and the nervous fibre, and all the valley wriggled 
and Avrithed and throbbed and rocked and rose up. There, 
a man coming to life. There, a hundred men. There, a 
thousand; and all falling into line waiting for the shout of 
their commander. Ten thousand bleached skeletons spring- 
ing up into ten thousand warriors, panting for the fray. I 
hope that instead of being a dream it may be a prophecy of 
what we shall see for there are many thousand without one 
pulsation of spiritual life. Hook off in one direction, arid they 
are dead. I look off in another direction, and they are dead. 
Who will bring them to life? Who shall rouse them up? If I 
should halloo at the top of my voice I could not wake them. 
Wait a moment ! Listen ! There is a rustling. There is a gale 
from heaven. It comes from the north and from the south, 
and from the east and from the west. It shuts us in. It 
blows upon the slain. There, a soul begins to move in spirit- 
tual life; there, ten souls; there, a score of souls; there, a 
hundred souls. The nostril throbbing in devine respiration, 
the hands lifted as though to take hold of heaven, the tongue 
moving as in prayer and adoration. Life! immortal life 
coming into the slain. Ten men for God — fifty — a hundred 


— a regiment — au army for God. In Ezekiel's words, and 
in almost a frenzy of prayer, I cry: "Come from the four 
winds, Breath, and hreathe upon the slain." 

You will have to surrender your heart to God. You 
cannot take the responsibility of fighting against the Spirit 
in this crisis, which will decide whether you are to go to 
heaven or to hell — to join the hallelujahs of the saved, or 
the howlings of the damned. You must pray. You must 
repent. You must fling your sinful soul on the pardoning 
mercy of God. You must. I see your resolution against 
God giving way. Your determination wavering. I break 
through the breach in the wall and follow up the advantage 
gained, hoping to rout your last opposition to Christ, and 
make you '.'ground arms" at the feet of the Divine Conqueror. 
0, you must! You must! The moon does not ask the tides 
of the Atlantic ocean to rise. It only stoops down with two 
great hands of light, the one at the European beach and the 
other at the American beach, and then lifts the great laver 
of molten silver. And God, it seems to me, is now going to 
lift you to newness of life. Do you not feel the swellings of 
the great oceanic tides of divine mercy? My heart is in 
anguish to have you saved. For this I pray and long, glad 
to be called a fool for Christ's sake and your salvation. The 
work has all been done. Christ did it with His own torn 
hand and lacerated foot and bleeding side. He took your 
place and died your death, if you would only believe it, only 
accept Him as your substitute. "But," you say, "how am I 
to get up to that feeling?" I reply, the Holy Spirit is ready 
to help you up to that feeling, if you will only ask Him. 

What an amazing pity that any man should go unblessed, 
when such a large blessing is offered him at less cost than 
you would pay for a pin — "without money and without price." 
I have driven down with the Lord's ambulance to the battle- 
field where your soul lies exposed to the darkness and the 
storm, and I want to lift you in and drive off with you 


towards heaven. 0, Christians, by your prayers help lift 
these wounded souls into the ambulance. God forbid that 
any should be left on the field, and that at last eternal sor- 
row and remorse and despair sbo;;i .. eome up around their 
soul like the bandit Philistines to the field of Gilboa, strip- 
ping the slain. 



If, in the time when people traveled afoot oi on camel- 
back, and vacillation from city to city was seldom, it was 
important that Solomon recognize the presence of strangers, 
how much more important, now in these days, when by 
railroad and steamboat the population of the earth are 
always in motion, and from one year's end to the other, our 
cities are crowded with visitors, the depots and wharves are 
a-rumble and a- clang with the coming in of a great immi- 
gration of strangers. Some of them come for purposes of 
barter, some for mechanism, some for artistic gratification, 
some for sight-seeing. A great many of them go out on the 
evening trains, and consequently the city makes but little 
impression upon them; but there are multitudes who, in the 
hotels and boarding houses, make temporary residence. 
They tarry here for three or four days, or as many weeks. 
They spend the days in the stores and the evenings in sigbt- 
seeing. Their temporary stay will make or break them, not 
only financially but morally, for this world and the world 
that is to come. Multitudes of them come into morning and 
evening services, those unknown to others, whose history, if 
told, would be more thrilling than the deepest tragedy, more 
exciting than Nilsson's song, more bright than a spring morn- 
ing more awful than a wintry midnight. If they could stand 
up and tell the story of tbeir escapes, and their temptations, 
and their bereavements, and their disasters, and their victo- 
ries, and their defeats, there would be such a commingling 
of groans and acclamations as would prove unendurable. 

There is a man who, in infancy, lay in a cradle satin- 



lined. There is a man who was picked up, a foundling, on 
Boston Common. Here is a man who coolly observes Sab- 
bath service, expecting no advantage, and caring for no 
advantage for himself; while yonder is a man who has been 
for ten years in an awful conflagration of evil habits and is a 
mere cinder of a destroyed nature, and he wonders if there 
shall be any escape or help for bis immortal soul. St. 
Paul's shijD at Melita went to pieces where two seas meet; 
but we stand at a point where a thousand seas converge, 
and eternity alone can tell the issue of the hour. 

The hotels of this country, for beauty and elegance, are 
not surpassed by the hotels in any other land; but those that 
are most celebrated for brilliancy of tapestry and mirror 
cannot give to the guest airy costly apartment, unless 
he can afford a parlor in addition to his lodging. The 
stranger, therefore, will generally find assigned to him a 
room without any pictures, and perhaps any rocking chair! 
He will find a box of matches on a bureau, and an old news- 
paper left by the previous occupant, and that will be about 
all the ornamentation. At seven o'clock in the evening, 
after having taken his repast, he will look over his memo- 
randum-book of the day's work; he will write a letter to his 
home, and then a desperation will seize upon him to get out. 
You hear the great city thundering under your windows, and 
you say: " I must join that procession," and in ten minutes 
you have joined it. Where are you going? " Oh," you say, 
" I haven't made up my mind yet." Better make up your 
mind before you start. Perhaps the very way you go now 
you will always go. Twenty years ago there were young 
men who came down the Astor House steps, and started out 
in a wrong direction, where they have been going ever since. 

"Well, where are ycu going?" says one man. "I am 
going to the Academy to hear some music." Good. I would 
like to join you at the door. At the tap of the orchestral 
baton, all the gates of harmony and beauty will open before 


your soul. I congratulate you. Where are you going? 
"Well," you say, "I am going up to see some advertised 
pictures." Good. I should like to go along with you and 
look over the same catalogue, and study with you Kensett, 
and Bierstadt, and Church, and Moran. Nothing more ele- 
vating than good pictures. Where are you going? "Well," 
you say, "I am going up to the Young Men's Christian Asso- 
ciation rooms." Good. You will find there gymnastics to 
strengthen the muscles, and hooks to improve the mind, and 
Christian influence to save the soul. Where are you going? 
"Well," you say, "I am going to take a long walk up Broad- 
way, and so turn around into the Bowery. I am going to 
study human life." Good. A walk through Broadway at 
eight o'clock at night is interesting, educating, fascinating, 
appalling, exhilarating to the last degree. Stop in front of 
that theater, and see who goes in. Stop at that saloon, and 
see who comes out. See the great tides of life surging back- 
ward and forward, and beating against the marble of the 
curbstone, and eddying down into the saloons. What is that 
mark on the face of that debauchee? It is the hectic flush 
of eternal death. What is that Woman's laughter? It is 
the shriek of a lost soul. Who is that Christian man going 
along with a phial of anodyne to the dying pauper. Who is 
that belated man on the way to a prayer-meeting? Who is 
that city missionary going to take a box in which to bury a 
child? Who are all these clusters of bright and beautiful 
faces? They are going to some interesting place of amuse- 
ment. Who is that man going into the drug-store? That 
is the man who yesterday lost all his fortune on Wall street. 
He is going in for a dose of belladonna, and before morning 
it will make no difference to him whether stocks are up or 
down. I tell you that Broadway, between seven and twelve 
o'clock at night, is an Austerlitz, a Gettysburg, a Waterloo, 
where kingdoms are lost or won, and three worlds mingle in 
the strife. 


I meet another coming down off the hotel steps, and I 
say: "Where are you going?" You say: "I am going 
with a merchant of New York who has promised to-night to 
show me the underground life of the city. I am his customer, 
and he is going to ohlige me very much." Stop! A business 
house that tries to get or keep your custom through such a 
process as that, is not worthy of you. There are business 
establishments in our cities which have for years been sending 
to eternal destruction hundreds and thousands of merchants. 
They have a secret drawer in the counter, where money is 
kept, and the clerk goes and gets it when he wants to take 
these visitors to the city through the low slums of the place. 
Shall I mention the names of some of these great commercial 
establishments? I have them on my lip. Shall I? Per- 
haps I had better leave it to the young men who, in that 
process, have been destroyed themselves while they have been 
destroying others. I care not how high-sounding the name 
of a commercial establishment, if it proposes to get customers 
or to keep them by such a process as that; drop their 
acquaintance. They will cheat you before you get through. 
They will send to you a style of goods different from that 
which you bought by sample. They will give you under- 
weight. There will be in the package half-a-dozen less pairs 
of suspenders than you paid for. They will rob you. Oh, 
you feel in your pockets and say: s 'Is my money gone?" 
They have robbed you of something for which pounds and 
shillings can never give you compensation. When one of 
these merchants has been dragged by one of these commercial 
agents through the slums of the city, he is not fit to go home. 
The mere memory of what he has seen will be moral pollu- 
tion, unless he go on positive Christian errand. I think you 
had better let the city missionary and the police and the 
Christian reformer attend to the exploration of underground 
life. You do not go to a small-pox hospital for the purpose 
of exploration. You do not go there, because you are afraid 



of the contagion. And yet, you go into the presence of a 
moral leprosy that is as much more dangerous to you as the 
death of the soul is worse than the death of the body. I will 
undertake to say that niue-tenths of the men who have been 
ruined in our cities have been ruined by simply going to 
observe without any idea of participating. The fact is that 


underground city life is a filthy, fuming, reeking, pestiferous 
depth which may blast the eye that looks at it. In the Beign 
of Terror, in 1792, in Paris, people, escaping from the officers 
of the law, got into the sewers of the city, and crawled and 
walked through miles of that awful labyrinth, stifled with 
the atmosphere and almost dead, some of them, when they 
came out to the river Seine, where they washed themselves 
and again breathed the fresh air. But I have to tell you that 
a great many of the men who go on the work of exploration 
through the underground gutters of life, never come out at 
any Seine river where they can wash off the pollution of the 


moral sewerage. Stranger, if one of the "drummers" of the 
city, as they are called — if one of the "drummers" propose 
to take you and show you the "sights" of the town say to 
him: "Please, sir, what part do you propose to show me?" 

Sabbath morning comes. You wake up in the hotel. 
You have had a longer sleep than usual. You say : "Where 
am I? a thousand miles from home! I have no family 
to take to church to-day. My pastor will not expect my 
presence. I think I shall look over my accounts and study 
my memorandum-book. Then I will write a few business 
letters, and talk to that merchant who came in on the same 
train with me." Stop! you cannot afford to do it. "But," 
you say, "I am worth five hundred thousand dollars." You 
cannot afford to do it. You say: "I am worth a million 
dollars." You cannot afford to do it. All you gain by 
breaking the Sabbath you will lose. You will lose one of 
three things : your intellect, your morals, or your property, 
and you cannot point in the whole earth to a single exception 
to this rule. God gives us six days and keeps one for him- 
self. Now, if we try to get the seventh, he will upset the 
work of all the other six. 

I remember going up Mount Washington, before the rail- 
road had been built, to the Tip-Top House, and the guide 
would come around to our horses and stop ns when we were 
crossing a very steep and dangerous place, and he would 
tighten the girdle of the horse, and straighten the saddle. 
And I have to tell you that this road of life is so steep and 
full of peril we must, at least one day in seven, stop and 
have the harness of life re-adjusted, and our souls re- 
equipped. The seven days of the week are like seven busi- 
ness partners, and you must give to each one his share, or 
the business will be broken up. Grod is so generous with us; 
he has given us six days to his one. Now, here is a father 
who has seven apples, and he gives six to his greedy boy, 
proposing to keep one for himself. The greedy boy grabs for 
the other one and loses all the six. 


How few men there are who know how to keep the Lord's 
day away from home. A great many who are consistent on 
the banks of the St. Lawrence, or the Alabama, or the Mis- 
sissippi, are not consistent when they get so far off as the 
East River. I repeat — though it is putting it on a low 
ground — you cannot financially afford to break the Lord's 
day. It is only another way of tearing up your government 
securities, and putting down the price of goods, and blowing 
up your store. I have friends who are all the time slicing 
off pieces of the Sabbath. They cut a little of the Sabbath 
off that end, and a little of the Sabbath off this end. They 
do not keep the twenty-four hours. The Bible says: 
"Remember the Sabbath day, to keej) it holy." I have good 
friends who are quite accustomed to leaving Albany by the 
midnight train on Saturday night, and getting home before 
church. Now, there may be occasions when it is right, but 
generally it is wrong. How if the train should run off the 
track into the North River? I hope your friends will not 
send for me to preach your funeral sermon. It would be an 
awkward thing forme to stand up by your side and preach — 
you a Christian man killed on a rail-train traveling on a 
Sunday morning. "Remember the Sabbath day to keep it 
holy." What does that mean ? It means twenty-four hours. 
A man owes you a dollar. You don't want him to pay you 
ninety cents; you want the dollar. If God demands of us 
twenty-four hours out of the week, he means twenty-four 
hours and not nineteen. Oh, we want to keep vigilantly in 
this country the American Sabbath, and not have trans- 
planted here the German or the French Sabbath. If any of 
you have been in Paris you know that on Sabbath morning 
the vast population rush out toward the country with baskets 
and bundles, and toward night they come back fagged out, 
cross, and intoxicated. May God preserve to us our glori- 
ous, quiet American Sabbaths. 

And so men come to the verge of city life and say: "Now 


we'll look off. Come, young man, don't be afraid, Come 
near, let's look off." He looks and looks, until, after a while, 
Satan comes and puts a hand on each of his shoulders and 
pushes him off. Society says it is evil proclivity on the part 
of that young man. Oh, no, he is simply an explorer, and 
sacrificed his life in discovery. A young man comes in from 
the country bragging that nothing can do him any barm. 
He knows about all the tricks of city life. "Why," he says, 
"didn't I receive a circular in the country telling me that 
somehow they found out that I was a sharp business man, 
and if I would only send a certain amount of money by mail 
or express, charges prepaid, they would send a package with 
which I could make a fortune in two months; but I didn't 
believe it. My neighbors did, but I didn't. Why, no man 
could take my money. I carry it in a pocket inside my vest. 
No man could take it. No man could cheat me at the faro 
table. Don't I know all about the 'cue-box,' and the 'deal- 
er's-box,' and the cards stuck together as though they were 
one, and when to hand in my cheques? Oh, they can't cheat 
me. I know what I am about. " While, at the same time, 
that very moment, such men are succumbing to the worst 
Satanic influences, in the simple fact that they are going to 
observe. Now, if a man or woman shall go down into a 
haunt of iniquity for the purpose of reforming men and 
women — if, as did John Howard, or Elizabeth Fry, or Van 
Meter, they go down among the abandoned for the sake of 
saving souls — or as did Chalmers and Guthrie to see sin, 
that they might better combat it, then they shall be God- 
protected, and they will come out better than when they went 
in. But if you go on this work of exploration, merely for 
the purpose of satisfying a morbid curiosity, it will take 
twenty per cent, off your moral character. 0, strangers, 
welcome to the great city. May you find Christ here, and 
not any physical or moral damage. Men coming from inland, 
from distant cities, have here found God. May that be your 


case. You thought you were brought to this place merely 
for the purpose of sight-seeing. Perhaps God brought you 
to the roaring city for the purpose of working out your 
eternal salvation. Go back to your homes and tell them how 
you met Christ here — the loving, patient, pardoning, and 
sympathetic Christ. Who knows but the city which has 
been the destruction of so many may be your eternal re- 
demption ? 

A good many years ago, Edward Stanley, the English 
commander, with his regiment, took a fort. The fort was 
manned by some three hundred Spaniards. He came close 
up to the fort, leading his men, when a Spaniard thrust at 
him with a spear, intending to destroy his life; but Stanley 
caught hold of the spear, and the Spaniard in attempting to 
jerk it away, lifted him into the battlements. No sooner 
had Stanley taken his position on the battlements, than he 
swung his sword and his whole regiment leaped up after 
him and the fort was taken. So may it be with you. The 
city pitfalls which have destroyed so many and dashed them 
down for ever, shall be the means of lifting you up into the 
tower of God's mercy and strength, your soul more than con- 
queror through His grace. 


gold! gold! gold! 

People will have a god of some kind, and they prefer one 
of their own making. The Israelites hroke off their golden 
ear-rings, the men as well as the women, for in those times 
there was masculine as well as feminine decoration. Where 
did they get these heautiful gold ear-rings, coming up as 
I Li By did from the desert? Oh, they horrowed them of the 
Egyptians, when they left Egypt. These ear-rings were piled 
into a pyramid of glittering beauty. " Any more ear-rings 
to bring? " says Aaron. None. Fire is kindled; the ear- 
rings are melted and poured into a mould, not of an eagle 
or a war charger, but of a silly calf ; the gold cools down ; 
the mould is taken away, and the idol is set up on its four 
legs. An altar is built in front of the shining calf. Then 
the people throw up their arms, and gyrate, and shriek, and 
dance vigorously, and worship. 

Moses had been six weeks on Mount Sinai, and he came 
back, and heard the howling and saw the dancing of these 
fanatics, and he lost his patience, and he took the two plates 
of stone, on which were written the Ten Commandments, 
and flung tliem so hard against a rock that they split all to 
pieces. When a man gets mad he is apt to break all the Ten 
Commandments'. In this instance Moses rushes in, and he 
takes this calf- god and throws it into a hot fire, until it is 
melted all out of shape, and then pulverizes it — not by the 
modern appliance of nitro-muriatic acid, but by the ancient 
appliance of nitre or by the old-fashioned file. He stirs for 
the people a most nauseating draught. He takes this pul- 
verized golden calf and throws it in the only brook which is 


GOLD ! GOLD ! GOLD ! 339 

accessible, and the people are compelled to drink of that 
brook or not drink at all. 

But they did not drink all the glittering stuff thrown on 
the surface. Some of it flows on down the surface of the 
brook to the river, and then flows on down the river to the 
sea, and the sea takes it up and bears it to the mouth of all 
the rivers, and when the tides set back, the remains of this 
golden calf are carried up into the Hudson and the East 
Eiver, and the Thames, and the Clyde, and the Tiber, and 
men go out and they skim the glittering surface, and they 
bring it ashore, and they make another golden god, and 
California and Australia break off their golden ear-rings to 
augment the pile, and in the fires of financial excitement 
and struggle, all these things are melted together, and while 
we stand looking and wondering what will come of it, lo ! 
we find that the golden calf of Israelitish worship has become 
the golden god of European and American worship. 

Pull aside the curtain and you see our modern idolatry. 
It is not, like other idols made out of stocks or stone, but it 
has an ear so sensitive that it can hear the whispers on Wall 
Street and Third Street and State Street, and the footfalls in 
the Bank of England, and the flutter of a Frenchman's 
heart on the Bourse. It has an eye so keen that it can see 
the rust on the farm of Michigan wheat, and the insect in 
the Maryland peach-orchard, and the trampled grain under 
the hoof of the Bussian war-charger. It is so mighty that 
it swings any way it will the world's shipping. It has its 
foot on all the merchantmen and the steamers. It started 
the American civil war, and under God, stopped it; and it 
decided the Turcd-Bussian contest. One broker in Septem- 
ber, 1869, in New York, shouted, " One hundred and sixty 
for a million ! " and the whole continent shivered. The idol 
of the Israelites has its right front foot in New York, its left 
front foot in Chicago, its right back foot in Charleston, its 
left back foot in New Orleans, and when it shakes itself it 

340 GOLD ! GOLD ! GOLD ! 

shakes the world. Oh, this gold is the mighty god of the 
world's worship. 

But every god must have its temple, and this gold is no 
exception. Its temple is vaster than St. Paul's Cathedral in 
England, and St. Peter's in Italy, and the Alhamhra of the 
Spaniards, and the Parthenon of the Greeks, and the Taj 
Mahal of the Hindoos, and all the other cathedrals put 
together. Its pillars are grooved and fluted with gold, and 
its ribbed arches are hovering gold, and its chandeliers are 
descending gold, and its floors are tessellated gold, and its 
vaults are crowded heaps of gold and its spires and domes 
are soaring gold, and its organ-pipes are resounding gold, 
and its j)edals are tramping gold 3 and its stops pulled out 
are flashing gold, while standing a*t the head of the temple, 
as the presiding deity, are the feet and shoulders and eyes 
and ears and nostrils of the miser, Its altar is not made 
of stone as other altars, but out of counting-room desks and 
fire-proof safes, and it is a broad, a long, a high altar. The 
victims sacrificed on it are the Swartouts, and the Ketchams, 
and the Pisks, and the Tweeds, and the Mortons, and ten 
thousand other people who are slain before this god. What 
does it care about the groans and struggles of the victims 
before it? With cold, metallic eye it looks on and yet lets 
them suffer. 

heavens and earth, what an altar! what a sacrifice of 
mind, body, and soul! The physical health of a great mul- 
titude is flung on to this sacrificial altar. They cannot 
sleep, and they take chloral and morphine and intoxicants. 
Some of them struggle in a nightmare of stocks, and at one 
o'clock in the morning suddenly rise up shouting, "A thou- 
sand shares of New York Central — one hundred and eight 
and a half! take it!" — until the whole family is affrighted, 
and the speculators fall back on their pillow and sleep until 
they are awakened again by a "corner" in Pacific Mail or a 
sudden " rise " of Eock Island. Their nerves gone, their 

342 GOLD ! GOLD ! GOLD ! 

digestion gone, their brain gone, they die. The gowned 
ecclesiastic comes in and reads the funeral service: "Blessed 
are the dead who die in the Lord." Mistake. They did not 
"die in the Lord;" their golden idol killed them! 

The trouble is, when men sacrifice themselves on this 
altar they not only sacrifice themselves, but they sacrifice 
their families. If a man by an ill course is determined to 
go to perdition, I suppose you will have to let him go. But 
he puts his wife and children in an equipage that is the 
amazement of the avenues, and the driver lashes the horses 
into two whirlwinds, and the spokes flash in the sun, and the 
golden headgear of the harness gleams, until a black calamity 
takes the bits of the horses and stops them, and shouts to 
the luxuriant occupants of the equipage, " Get out! " They 
get out. They get down. That husband and father flung 
his family so hard they never got up. There was the mark 
on them for life — -the mark of a sacrifice to an unfeeling god. 

Solomon offered in one sacrifice, on one occasion, twenty- 
two thousand oxen and one hundred and tv/enty thousand 
sheep ; but that was a tame sacrifice compared with the mul- 
titude of men who are sacrificing themselves on the altar of 
gold, and sacrificing their families with them. The soldiers 
of General Havelock, in India, walked literally ankle deep in 
the blood of " the house of massacre," where two hundred 
white women and children had been slain by the Sepoys ; 
but the blood around about this altar of gold flows up to the 
knee, flows up to the girdle, flows to the shoulder, flows to 
the lip. Great God of heaven and earth, have mercy on 
those who immolate themselves on this altar! Gold has none. 

Still the degrading worship goes on, and the devotees 
kneel and kiss the dust, and count their golden beads, and 
cross themselves with the blood of their own sacrifice. The 
music rolls on under the arches; it is made of clinking silver 
and clinking gold, and the rattling specie of the banks and 
brokers' shops, and the voices of all the exchanges. The 

GOLD ! GOLD ! GOLD ! 343 

soprano of the "worship is carried by the timid voices of men 
who have just begun to speculate, while the deep bass rolls 
out from those who for ten years have been steeped in the 
seething cauldron. Chorus of voices rejoicing over what 
they have made; chorus of voices wailing over what they 
have lost. This temple of which I speak stands open day and 
night, and there is the glittering god and broken hearts, and 
there is the smoking altar of sacrifice, new victims every 
moment on it, and there are the kneeling devotees, and the 
doxology of the worship rolls on, while death stands with 
moldy and skeleton arm, beating time for the chorus — More 
gold ! more gold ! more gold ! 

Some people are very much surprised at the actions of 
people in the Stock Exchange, New York. Indeed, it is a 
scene sometimes that paralyzes description, and is beyond 
the imagination of any one who has never looked in. What 
snapping of finger and thumb, and wild gesticulation, and 
raving like hyenas, and stamping like buffaloes, and swaying 
to and fro, and jostling and running one upon another, and 
deafening uproar, until the president of the Exchange strikes 
with his mallet four or five times, crying, "Order! order!" and 
the astonished spectator goes out into the fresh air, feeling 
that he has escaped from pandemonium. What does it all 
mean? I will tell you what it means. The devotees of every 
heathen temple cut themselves to pieces, and yell, and gyrate. 
This vociferation and gyration of the Stock Exchange is all 
appropriate. This is their worship. But this worship has 
got to be broken up, as the behavior of Moses indicated. 
There are those who say that that golden calf was hollow, 
and merely plated with gold ; otherwise, Moses could not 
have carried it. 1 do not know that; but somehow, perhaps, 
by the assistance of his friends, he takes up the golden calf, 
which is an infernal insult to God and man, and throws it 
into the fire, and it is melted; and then it comes out and is 
cooled off, and, by some chemical appliance, or by an old- 


©old! gold! gold! 

fashioned file, it is pulverized, and it is thrown into the 
brook, and, as a punishment, the people are compelled to 
drink the nauseating stuff. So, my readers, you may depend 

upon it that God will burn and He will grind to pieces the 
god of modern idolatry, and He will compel the people in 
then agony to drink it. If not before, it will be so on the 
last day. I know not where the fire will begin, but it will 

GOLD ! GOLD ! GOLD ! 345 

be a very hot blaze. All the government securities of the 
United States and Great Britain will curl up in the first blast. 
All the money-safes and depositing- vaults will melt under 
the first touch. The sea will burn like tinder, and the ship- 
ping will be abandoned forever. The melting gold in the 
broker's window will burst through the melted window-glass 
into the street ; but the flying population will not stop to 
scoop it up. The cry of " Fire!" from the mountain will be 
answered by the cry of " Fire!" in the plain. The confla- 
gration will burn out from the continent toward the sea, and 
then burn in from the sea toward the land. 

New York and London, with one cut of the red scythe of 
destruction, will go down. Twenty-five thousand miles of 
conflagration ! The earth will wrap itself round and round 
in shroud of flame, and lie down to perish. What then will 
become of your god? Who then so poor as to worship it? 
Melted, or between the upper and the nether millstone of 
falling mountains ground to powder. Dagon down; Moloch 
clown; Juggernaut down; gold down! 

But every day is a day of judgment, and God is all the 
time grinding to pieces the golden god. Merchants, what is 
the characteristic of this time in which we live? "Bad," you 
say. Professional men, what is the characteristic of the 
times in which we live? "Bad," you say. Though I should 
be in a minority of one, I venture the opinion, that these are 
the best times we have had in fifteen years, for the reason 
that God is teaching this nation, as never before, that old- 
fashioned honesty is the only thing that will stand. 

A few years ago, in the panic, we learned, as never before, 
that forgeries will not pay; that the watering of stock will 
not pay; that the spending of $50,000 on country seats and 
a palatial city residence, when there are only $30,000 income, 
will not pay; that the appropriation of trust funds to our own 
private speculation will not pay. We had a great national 
tumor, in the shape of fictitious prosperity. We called it 

346 GOLD ! GOLD ! GOLD ! 

national enlargement; instead of calling it enlargement, we 
might better have called it a swelling. It was a tumor and 
God cut it out; and the nation was sent back to the prin- 
ciples of our fathers and grandfathers, when twice three 
made six instead of sixty, and when the apples at the bottom 
of the barrel were just as good as the apples on the top of 
the barrel, and a silk handkerchief was not half cotton, and 
a man who wore a five-dollar coat paid for was more honored 
than a man who wore a fifty-dollar coat not paid for. 

The modern god is very apt to be made out of borrowed 
gold. These Israelites borrowed the ear-rings of the Egyp- 
tians, and then melted them into a golden calf. That is the 
way the god of gold is made nowadays. A great many 
housekeepers, not paying for the articles they get, borrow of 
the grocer and the baker and the butcher and the dry-goods 
seller. Then the retailers borrow of the wholesale dealer. 
Then the wholesale dealer borrows of the capitalist; and we 
borrow, and borrow, and borrow, until tbe community is 
divided into two classes — those who borrow and those who 
are borrowed of ; and after awhile the capitalist wants his 
money and he rushes upon the wholesale dealer, and the 
wholesale dealer wants his money and he rushes upon the 
retailer, and the retailer wants his money and he rushes on 
the consumer, and we all go down together. 

There is many a man who rides in a carriage and owes 
the blacksmith for the tire, and the wheelwright for the 
wheel, and the trimmer for the curtain, and the driver for 
unpaid wages, and the harness-maker for the bridle, and the 
furrier for the robe, while from the tip of the carriage-tongue 
clear back to the tip of the camel's-hair shawl fluttering out 
of tbe back of tbe vehicle, everything is paid for by notes 
that have been three times renewed. I tell you that in this 
country we shall never get things right- until we stop borrow- 
ing and pay as we go. It is this temptation to borrow, and 
borrow, and borrow that keeps the people everlastingly pray- 

GOLD ! GOLD ! GOLD ! 347 

ing to god of gold for help, and just at the minute they expect 
the help their god treads on them. 

The judgments of God will rush in and break up this 
worship ; and I say, let the work go on until every man shall 
learn to speak truth with his neighbor, and those who make 
engagements shall feel themselves bound to keep them, and 
when a man who will not repent of his business iniquity, but 
goes on wishing to satiate his cannibal appetite by devouring 
widows' houses, shall, by the law of the land, be compelled 
to exchange the brown stone front for the Penitentiary. Let 
the worship of gold perish ! 



The young man was a splendid nature. We fall in love 
with him at the first glance. He was amiable and frank and 
earnest and educated and refined and respectable and moral, 
and yet he was not a Christian. And so Christ addressed 
him in these words: "One thing thou lackest." I sup- 
pose that they were no more appropriate to that young man 
than to a great multitude of people. There are many things 
in which you are not lacking. For instance, you are not 
lacking in a good home. The younger children of the house 
already asleep, the older ones, hearing your returning foot- 
steps, rush to the door to meet you. And when the winter 
evenings come, and the children are at the stand with their 
lessons, the wife is plying the needle, and you are reading 
the book or the paper, you will feel that you have a good 
home. Neither are you lacking in the refinements and 
courtesies of life. You understand the polite phraseology of 
invitation, regards and apology. I hope at church you have 
on your best apparel. I shall wear no better dress at the 
wedding than when I come "to the marriage of the King's 
Son. If I am well clothed on other occasions, I will be in the 
house of God. However reckless I may be about my per- 
sonal appearance at other times, when I come into a con- 
secrated assemblage I shall have on the best dress I have. 
We all understand the proprieties of everyday life and the 
proprieties of Sabbath life. Neither are you lacking in 
worldly success. You have not made as much money as you 
would like to make, but you have an income. While others 
are false when they say they have no income or are making 




no money, you have never told that falsehood. You have 
had a livelihood or you have fallen upon old resources, which 

is just the same thing, for God is just as good to us when He 
takes care of us by a surplus of the past as by present success. 
While there are thousands of men with hunger tearing 
at the throat with the strength of a tiger's paw, not one of 
you is hungry. Neither are you lacking in pleasant friend- 


ships. You have real good friends. If the scarlet fever 
should come to your house, you know very well who would 
come in and sit up with the sick one; or, if death should 
come, you know who would come in and take your hand tight 
in theirs with that peculiar grip which means, "I'll stand by 
you," and after the life has fled from the loved one, take you 
by the arm and lead you into the next room, and while you 
are gone to the burying ground they would stay in the house 
and put aside the garments and the playthings that might 
bring to your mind too severely your great loss. Friends? 
You all have friends. Neither are you lacking in your 
admiration of the Christian religion. There is nothing that 
makes you so mad as to have a man malign Christ. You get 
red in the face and you say: "Sir, I want you to understand 
that though I am not myself a Christian, I don't like such 
things as that said in my store," and the man goes off, giving 
you a parting salutation, but you hardly answer him. You 
are provoked beyond all bounds. 

Many of you have been supporters of religion and have 
given more to the cause of Christ than some who profess 
His faith. There is nothing that would please you more 
than to see your son or daughter standing at the altars of 
Christ, taking the vows of the Christian. It might be a little 
hard on you, and might make you nervous and agitated for 
a little while ; but you would be man enough to say: "My 
child, that is right. Go on. I am glad you haven't been 
kept back by my example. I hope some day to join you. " 
You believe all the doctrines of religion. A man out yonder 
says: "I am a sinner." Yourespond: "So am I." Some 
one says: "I believe that Christ came to save the world." 
You say: "So do I." Looking at your character, at your 
surroundings, I find a thousand things about which to con- 
gratulate you ; and yet I must tell you in the love and fear 
of God, and with reference to my last account: "One thing 
thou lackest." 


You need, in the first place, the element of happiness. 
Some day you feel wretched. You do not know what is the 
matter with you. You say: "I did not sleep last night. I 
think that must be the reason of my restlessness;" or, "I 
have eaten something that did not agree with me, and I 
think that must be the reason." And you are unhappy. 0, 
my friends, happiness does not depend upon physical con- 
dition. Some of the happiest people I have ever known 
have been those whose have been wrapped in consumption, 
or paralyzed with neuralgia, or burning with the slow fire of 
some fever. I never shall forget one man who, in excrucia- 
tion of body, cried out: "Mr. Talmage, I forget all my pain 
in the love and joy of Jesus Christ. I can't think of my 
sufferings when I think of Christ." Why, his face was 
illuminated. I shall never forget it. There are young men 
who would give testimony to show that there is no happiness 
outside of Christ, while there is great joy in His service. 
There are young men who have not been Christians more 
than six months, who would stand up and say that in those 
six months they have had more joy and satisfaction than in 
all the years of their frivolity and dissipation. Go to the 
door of that gin-shop, and when the gang of young men 
come out, ask them whether they are happy. They laugh 
along the street, and they cheer and they shout, but nobody 
has any idea that they are happy. 

I could call upon aged men to give testimony. There 
are aged men who tried the world, and they tried religion, 
and they are willing to testify on our side. It was not long 
ago that one man arose in a praying circle, and said: 
"Brethren, I lost my son just as he graduated from college, 
and it broke my heart; but I am glad now he is gone. He 
is at rest, escaped from all sorrow and from all trouble. And 
then, in 1857, I lost all my property, and you see I am get- 
ting a little old, and it is rather hard upon me; but I am 
sure God will not let me suffer. He has not taken care of 


me for seventy-five years now to let me drop out of His 
hands." I went into the room of an aged relative not long 
ago — his eye-sight nearly gone, his hearing nearly gone — 
and what do you suppose he was talking about? The good- 
ness of God and the joys of religion. He said: "I would 
like to go over and join my wife on the other side of the 
flood, and I am waiting until the Lord calls me. I am 
happy now. I shall he happy there." What is it that gives 
that aged man so much satisfaction and peace? Physical 
exuberance? No; it has all gone. Sunshine? He cannot 
see it. The voices of friends? He cannot hear them. It 
is the grace of God, that is brighter than sunshine and that 
is sweeter than music. If a harpist takes a harp and finds 
that all the strings are broken but one string, he does not try 
to play upon it. Yet here I will show you an aged man, the 
strings of whose joy are all broken save one, and yet he 
thrums it with such satisfaction, such melody, that the 
angels of God stop the swift stroke of tbeir wings, and hover 
about the place until the music ceases. 0, religion's "ways 
are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace." And 
if you have not the satisfaction that is to be found in Jesus 
Christ, I must tell you, with all the concentred emphasis 
of my soul, "One thing thou lackest." 

You lack the elements of usefulness. Where is your 
business? You say it is No. 45 such a street, or No. 260 
such a street, or No. 300 such a street. My friend immortal, 
your business is wherever there is a tear to be wiped away or 
a soul to be saved. You may before coming to Christ do a 
great many noble things. You take a loaf of bread to that 
starving man in the alley; but he wants immortal bread. 
You take a pound of candles to that dark shanty. They want 
the light that springs from the throne of God, and you can- 
not take it because you have it not in your own heart. You 
know that the flight of an arrow depends very much upon 
the strength of the bow, and I have to tell you that the best 


bow that was ever made, was made out of the Cross of Christ; 
and when Eeligion takes a soul and puts it on that, and pulls 
it back and lets it fly, every time it brings down a Saul or 
Goliath. There are people of high social position and large 
means and cultured minds, who, if they would come into the 
kingdom of God, would set the city on fire with religious 
awakening. 0, hear you not the myriad voices of those who 
are dying in then' sins? They want light. They want bread. 
They want Christ. They want heaven. 0, that the Lord 
would make you a flaming evangel. As for myself, I have 
sworn before high heaven that I will preach this Gospel as 
well as I can, in all its fullness, until every fiber of my body 
and every faculty of my mind and every passion of my soul 
is exhausted. I ask no higher honor than that of dying for 
Him who died for me. But we all have a work to do. I 
cannot do your work, nor can you do my work. God points 
us out the place where we are to serve, and yet are there not 
people who are thirty, forty, fifty, and sixty years of age, 
and yet have not begun the great work for which they were 

Again, you lack the element of personal safety. "Where 
are those people who associated with you twenty years ago? 
Walk down the street where you were in business fifteen years 
ago, and see how all the signs have changed. Where are the 
people gone? How many of them are landed in eternity I 
cannot say, but many, many. A few days ago I went to tne 
village of my boyhood. The houses were all changed. I 
passed one house in which once resided a man who had lived 
an earnest, useful life, and he is in glory now. In the next 
house a miser lived. He devoured widows' houses, and spent 
his whole life in trying to make the world worse and worse. 
And he is gone — the good man and the miser both gone to 
the same place. Ah, did they go to the same place? No, 
infinite absurdity to suppose them both in the same place. 
If the miser had a harp, what tune did he play on it? my 


readers, I commend to you this religion as the only personal 
safety. When you die, where are you going to? When we 
leave all these scenes, upon what scenes will we enter? When 
we were on shipboard, and we all felt that we must go to the 
bottom, was I right in saying to one next me: "I wonder 
if we will reach Heaven if we do go down to-night." Was 
I wise or unwise in asking that question? I tell you that 
man is a fool who never thinks of the great future. If you 
pay money, you take a receipt. If you buy land, you record 
the deed. Why? Because, everything is so uncertain, you 
want it down in black and white, you say. For a house and 
lot twenty-five feet front by one hundred feet deep, all security; 
but for a soul, vast as eternity, nothing, nothing! 

If some one of you should drop down dead, where would 
you go to? Which is your destiny? Suppose a man is pre- 
pared for the future world, what difference does it make to 
him whether he goes to his home or goes into glory? Only 
this difference: if he dies he is better off. Where he had 
one joy on earth, he will have a million in Heaven. When 
he has a small sphere here, he will have a grand sphere there. 
Perhaps it would cost you sixty, or one hundred, or one hun- 
dred and fifty dollars to have your physical life insured, and 
yet free of charge, I offer you insurance on your immortal 
life, payable, not at your decease, but now, and to-morrow, 
and every day, and always. My hope in Christ is not so 
bright as many Christians, I know; but I woidd not give it 
up for the whole universe, in one cash payment, if it were 
offered me. It has been so much comfort to me in time of 
trouble, it has been so much strength to me when the world 
has abused me, it has been so much rest to me when I have 
been perplexed, and it is around my heart such an encase- 
ment of satisfaction and blessedness that I can, before 
God, say: Take away my health, take away my life, take 
everything rather than rob me of this hope, this plain, simple 
hope which I have in Jesus Christ, my Lord. I must have 


this robe when the last chill strikes through me. I must have 
this light when all other lights go out in the blast that comes 
up from the cold Jordan. I must have this sword with 
which to fight my way through all those foes on my way 
heavenward. When I was in London I saw there the won- 
derful armor of Henry VIII. and Edward III. And yet there 
is nothing in chain mail or brass plate or gauntlet or halberd 
that makes a man so safe as the armor in which the Lord 
God clothes his dear children. 0, there is safety in religion. 
You will ride down all your foes. Look out for that man 
who has the strength of the Lord God with him. In olden 
times the horsemen used to ride into battle with lifted lances, 
and the enemy fled the field. The Lord on the white horse 
of victory, and with lifted lances of divine strength, rides 
into the battle, and down goes the spiritual foe; while the 
victor shouts the triumph through the Lord Jesus Christ. As 
a matter of personal safety, you must have this religion. 

I apply my subject to several classes of people. First, 
to the great multitude of young people in our cities. Some 
of these young men are in boarding-houses. They have but 
few social advatages. They think that no one cares for their 
souls. Many of them are on small salaries, and they are 
cramped and bothered perpetually, and sometimes their heart 
fails them. Young man, at your bedroom door on the third 
floor, you will hear a knocking. It will be the hand of Jesus 
Christ, the young man's friend, saying: "0, young man, let 
me come in; I will help thee, I will comfort thee, I will 
deliver thee." Take the Bible out of the trunk, if it has 
been hidden away. If you have not the courage to lay it on 
the shelf or table, take that Bible that was given to you by 
some loved one, take it out of the trunk and lay it down on 
the bottom of the chair, and kneel down beside it, and read 
and pray, and pray and read, until all your disturbance is 
gone, and you feel that peace which neither earth nor hell can 
rob you of. Thy father's God, thy mother's God, waits for 
thee, young man. "Escape for thy life!" Escape now! 


But I apply this subject to the aged — not many of them. 
People do not live to get old. That is the general rule. 
Here and there an aged man. I tell you the truth. You 
have lived long enough in this world to know that it cannot 
satisfy an immortal nature. I must write to you more rever- 
entially than I do to these other people of my own age. We 
are told to rise up and do honor to the hoary head and to 
those who have seen long years; and so I must write with 
reverence, while at the same time with great plainness. 
father of the weary step, mother, bent down under the 
ailments of life, has thy God ever forsaken thee? Through 
all these years, who has been your best friend? Seventy 
years of mercies ! Seventy years of food and clothing ! 0, 
how many bright mornings ! How many glorious evening hours 
you have seen! 0, father, mother, God has been very good 
to you. Do you feel it? Some of you have children and 
grandchildren; the former cheered your young life, the latter 
twine your gray locks in their tiny fingers. Has all the good- 
ness that God has been making pass before you since long 
before I was born — has all that goodness produced no change 
in your feelings, and must it be said of you, notwithstanding 
all this, "One thing thou lackest?" 

Oh, if you could only feel the hand of Christ smoothing 
the cares out of wrinkled faces. 0, if you could only feel 
the arm of Christ steadying your tottering steps. It was an 
importunate appeal a young man made in a prayer-meeting 
when he rose up and said: "Do pray for my old father. He 
is seventy years of age, and he don't love Christ." That 
father passed a few more steps on in life and then he went 
down. He never gave any intimation that he had chosen 
Jesus. It is a very hard thing for an old man to become a 
Christian. I know it is. It is so hard a thing that it cannot 
be done by any human work; but God Almighty can do it by 
His omnipotent grace; He can bring you at the eleventh hour, 
at half-past eleven, at one minute to twelve He can bring you 
to the peace and the joys of the glorious Gospel. 


I must make application of this subject, also, to those 


who are prospered. Have you found that dollars and cents 
are no permanent consolation to the soul? Have you in this 


world ten thousand dollars, twenty thousand dollars, thirty 
thousand dollars? Have you no treasures in heaven? Is an 
emhroidered pillow all that you want to put your dying head 
on? You have heard people all the time talk about earthly 
values. Listen to a plain man about the heavenly. Do you 
know it will be worse for you, prosperous man — if you 
reject Christ and reject Him finally — that it will be worse for 
you than those who had it hard in this world, because the 
contrast will make tbe discomfiture so much more appalling? 
As the hart bounds for the water brooks, as the roe speeds 
down the hill-side, speed thou to Christ. "Escape for thy 
life, look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain ; 
escape to the mountain lest thou be consumed!" 

Then the poor. When you cannot pay your rent when it 
is due, have you nobody but the landlord to talk to? When 
the flour has gone out of the barrel, and you have not ten 
cents with which to go to the bakery, and your children 
tugging at your dress for something to eat, have you nothing 
but the world's charities to appeal to? When winter comes 
and there are no coals, and the ash -barrels have no more 
cinders, who takes care of you? Have you nobody but the 
overseer of the poor? If you do not have in the winter 
blankets enough to cover you in the night, I want to tell you 
of Him who had not where to lay His head. If you lay on 
the bare floor, I want to tell you of Him who had for a pillow 
a hard cross, and whose foot-bath was the streaming blood of 
.His own heart. you poor man! you poor woman! 
Jesus understands your case altogether. Talk it right out to 
Him. Get down on your floor and say: "Lord Jesus Christ, 
Thou was poor, and I am poor. Help me. Thou art rich 
now, and bring me up to Thy riches!" Do you think God 
would cast you off? Will He? You might as well think 
that a mother would take the child that feeds on her breast 
and dash its life out, as to think that God would put aside 
roughly those who have fled to Him for pity and compassion. 


Aye, the prophet says: "A woman may forget her sucking 
child, hut I will not forget thee." 

If you have ever been on the sea, you have been surprised 
in the first voyage to find there are so few sails in sight. 
Sometimes you go along, two, three, four, five, six, and seven 
days, and do not see a single sail; but when a vessel does 
come in sight, the sea glasses are lifted to the eye, the vessel 
is watched, and if it come very near, then the captain through 
the trumpet cries loudly across the water, "Whither bound?" 
So you and I meet on this sea of life. We come and we go. 
Some of us have never met before. Some of us will never 
meet again. But I hail you across the sea, and with refer- 
ence to the last great day, and with reference to the two great 
worlds, I cry across the water, "Whither bound? Whither 
bound? For the eternal heaven or for the eternal hell?" 
Will you live with Christ in glory, or be banished away from 
Him? I know what service that craft was made for, but 
hast thou thrown overboard the compass? Is there no helm 
to guide it? Is the ship at the mercy of the tempest? Is 
there no gun of distress booming through the storm? With 
priceless treasures, with treasures aboard worth more than 
all the Indies, wilt thou never come up out of the trough of 
that sea? Lord God, lay hold that man! Son of God, if 
Thou wert ever needed anywhere, Thou art needed here. 
There are so many sins to be pardoned. There are so many 
wounds to be healed. There are so many souls to be saved 
or lost. Help, Jesus! Help, Holy Ghost! Help, minister- 
ing angels from the throne! Help, all sweet memories of 
the past! Help, all prayers for our future deliverance! 0, 
that now, in this the accepted time and the day of salvation, 
you would hear the voice of mercy and live. Taste and see 
that the Lord is gracious. 

In the closing hour of the day, when everything in the 
nouse is so favorable, when everything is so still, when God 
is so loviug, and heaven is so near, drop your sins and take 


Jesus. Do not cheat yourself out of heaven. Do not do 
that. God forbid that at the last, when it is too late to 
correct the mistake, a voice should rise from the pillow or 
drop from the throne, uttering just four words — four dismal, 
annihilating words: "One thing thou lackest." 



There is one scene in the life of David that you may not 
have pondered. You have seen him with a harp playing the 
devil out of Saul; with a sliDg, smashing the skull of Goliath; 
with a sword, hacking to pieces the Philistines; with a 
scepter, ruling a vast realm; with a psalm, gathering "all 
nations into doxology; hut now we have David playing the 
fool. He has heen anointed king, yet he is in exile and pass- 
ing incognito among the Gathites. They hegin to suspect 
who he is, and say: "I wonder if this is not the warrior 
King David? It looks like him. Is not this the man ahout 
whom they used to make poetry, and about whom they com- 
posed a dance, so that the maidens of the city, reeling now 
on one foot and now on the other, used to sing: 'Saul has 
slain his thousands, but David has slain his tens of thou- 
sands.' Yes, it is very much like David. It must be David. 
It is David." David, to escape their hands, pretends to be 
demented. He said within himself: "If I act crazily, then 
these people will not injure me. No one would be so much 
of a coward as to assault a madman. " 

So, one clay, while these Gathites are watching David with 
increased suspicion, they see him standing by the door run- 
ning his hands meaninglessly up and down the panels — 
scrabbling on the door as though he would climb up, his 
mouth wide open, drooling like an infant. I suppose the 
boys of the streets threw missiles at him, but the sober people 
of the town said: "This is not fair. Do you not see that 
he has lost his reason? Do not touch this madman. Hands 
off! hands off!" 



So David escaped; but what an exhibition he made of 
himself before all the ages ! There was a majesty in King 
Lear's madness after Began and Goneril, his daughters, had 
persuaded him to banish their sister Cordelia, and all the 

friends of the drama have been 

thrilled with that spectacle. The 

craziness of Meg Merrilies was 

weird and imposing, and the most 

telling passage in Walter Scott's 

"Guy Mannering." There was a 

fascination about the insanity of 

Alexander Cruden, who made the 

best concordance of the Bible that 

the world ever saw — made it 

sir Walter scott. between the mad-houses. Some 

time ago, while I was visiting the Insane Asylum on 

Blackwell's Island, a demented woman came up to me and 

said, in most tragic style : 

God moves in a mysterious way, 

His wonders to perform: 
He plants liis footsteps in the sea 

And rides upon the storm. 

But there was nothing grand, nothing weird, nothing 
majestic, nothing sublime about this simulation on the part 
of David. Instead of trusting in the Lord, as he had on 
other occasions, he gathers before him a vast audience of all 
generations that were to come, and standing on that conspicu- 
ous stage of history, in the presence of all the ages,~he 
impersonates the slavering idiot. 

Taking the behavior of David as a suggestion, I wish to 
tell you how many of the wise and the brave, and the regal, 
sometimes play the fool. And in the first place I remark 
that those men as badly play the fool as did David, who, in 
any crisis of life, take their case out of the hand of God. 
David, in this case, acted as though there were no God to lift 


him out of the predicament. What a contrast between his 
behavior, when this brave little man stood up in front of the 
giant ten feet in height, looking into his face, between that 
time and this time, when he debased himself, and bedraggled 
his manhood, and affected insanity in order that he might 
escape from the grip of the Gathites. In the one case he 
played the hero. In the other case he played the fool. So 
does every man who, in the great crisis of life, takes his case 
out of the hand of God. The life of the most insignificant 
man is too vast for any human management. One time, 
returning from the West, I very easily got on the locomotive 
while passing over the plains, and talked with the engineer; 
but coming on toward the Allegheny Mountains, I thought I 
would like to sit en the locomotive as it came down from the 
mountains amidst that most wonderful scenery on this con- 
tinent. I asked the engineer if I might ride, but he courte- 
ously denied me, for there the grade is so steep, and so 
winding, and so perilous, that he must not have any one on 
the locomotive who may divert his attention when eye and 
hand and foot and brain must be concentered, ready for the 
most sudden emergency. Life is so steep, and so perilous, 
and so exposed to sudden surprises, that none but the Lord 
Almighty can guide and engineer it, and our disasters come 
from the fact that we want to get up and help the Lord to 
manage the train. 

Eeep off the engine! Be willing to let God pidl you 
where he wants to pull you. You have no right for an instant 
to surrender your sanity and manhood as David surrendered 
his. Put your trust in God, and he will take you through 
and over the mountains. I very much suspect that all the 
successful enterprises that were ever carried on, and all the 
successful lives that have ever been lived have been fully sur- 
rendered to God. When the girl Victoria was awakened in 
the night, and told that the throne of Great Britain was hers, 
she said to the prelate informing her: "I ask your prayers," 



and then and there they knelt down and prayed. Do you 
wonder that though since that time all the thrones of Europe 
have fallen or been fearfully shaken hers stands as firm as 
the day she ascended it; and in every country under the sun, 


wherever an Englishman hears that name pronounced, he 
feels like waving his hat and crying : " God save the Queen ! " 
That man and that woman who put their trust in God wili 
go through in triumph, while those who attempt to gathe? 


under their own supervision the intricate and elaborate affairs 
of their lives are miserably playing the fool. 

I stood on the beach, looking off upon the sea, and there 
was a strong wind blowing, and I noticed that some of the 
vessels were going that way, and other vessels were going 
another way. I said to myself: "How is it that the same 
wind sends one vessel in one direction and another vessel in 
another direction?" I found out, by looking, that it was the 
different way they had the sails set. And so does trouble 
come in this world. Some men it drives into the harbor of 
heaven, and other men it drives on the rocks. It depends 
upon the way you have your sails set. All the Atlantic and 
Pacific oceans of surging sorrow can not sink a soul that has 
asked for God's pilotage. The difficulty is, that when we 
have misfortunes of any kind, we put them in God's hand, 
and they stay there a little while, and then we go and get 
them again, and bring them back. 

A vessel comes in from a foreign port. As it comes near 
the harbor it sees a pilot floating about. It hails the pilot. 
The pilot comes on board, and he says: "Now, captain, you 
have had a stormy passage. Go down and sleep, and I will 
take the vessel into New 7 York harbor." After a while the 
captain begins to think: "Am I right in trusting this vessel 
to that pilot? I guess I'll go up and see." So he comes to 
the pilot and says : "Don't you see that rock? Don't you see 
those headlands? You will wreck the ship. Let me lay hold 
the helm for awhile for myself, and then I'll trust to you." 
The pilot becomes angry and says : "I will either take care of 
this ship or not. If you want to I will get into my yawl and 
go ashore or back to my boat." Now, we say to the Lord: 
"0, God, take my life, take my all, in thy keeping! Be thou 
my guide, be thou my pilot." We go along for a little while, 
and suddenly wake up and say: "Things are going all 
wrong. 0, Lord, we are driving on these rocks and thou art 
going to let us be shipwrecked." God says: "You go and 


rest. I will take charge of this vessel and take it into the 

It is God's business to comfort, and it is our business to 
be comforted. Herbert, the great thinker, philosophized about 
himself, philosophized about this world, philosophized about 
everything, then in his dying moments asked that only one 
word might be cut upon his tombstone and that word "Jnjejjjo- 
issimus"— most unhappy — descriptive of the state of the lives 
and of the deaths of those who take their case out of the 
hands of God. The only appropriate inscription for their 
banqueting hall and their equipage, and their grave and the 
wall of their eternal prison-house — " Infelicissimus." In 
drooling, moral idiocy they are scrabbling at the door of their 
happiness, which never opens; miserably playing the fool. 

All those persons play the fool, as certainly did David, 
who allow the technicalities of religion to stop their salvation. 
David was wise about a great many things, but his follies for 
a little while eclipsed his character. And I know wise men, 
and great men, competent for all other stations, who are 
acting a silly and foolish part in regard to the technicalities of 
religion. They ask us some questions which we cannot 
answer categorically, and so they burst into a broad guffaw, 
as though it is of any more interest to us than it ought to be 
to them. About the atonement, about God's decrees, about 
man's destiny, they ask a great many questions which we 
cannot answer, and so they deride us, as though we could 
not ask them a thousand questions that they cannot answer, 
about their eyes, about their ears, about their finger nails, 
about everything, A fool can ask a question that a wise man 
cannot answer. 0, you caviling men! 0, you profound 
men! 0, you learned men, do please admit something. You 
have a soul? Yes. Will it live forever? Yes. Where? 
You say that Jesus Christ is not a divine Saviour. Who is 
he? Where will you go after you leave your law books, and 
your medical prescriptions, and your club-room, and your 


newspaper office — where will you go to? Your body will be 
six feet under ground. Where will your soul be? The black 
coat will be off, the shroud on. Those spectacles will be 
removed from your vision, for the sod will press your eye- 
lids. Have you any idea that an earthly almanac describes 
the years of your lifetime? Of what stuff shall I gather the 
material for the letters of that word which describes your 
eternal home ? Shall it be iron chain or amaranthine gar- 
land? The air that stirs the besweated locks of your dying 
pillow, will it come off a garden or a desert? 

Oh, quit the puzzling questions and try these momentous 
questions. Quit the small questions and try these great 
questions. Instead of discussing whether the serpent in 
Eden was figurative or literal, whether the Mediterranean fish 
did or did not swallow the recreant prophet, whether this and 
that and the other thing is right or wrong, come and discuss 
one question : " How shall I get rid of my sins and win 
heaven?" That is the question for you. Yea, there have 
been men who have actually lost their souls because they 
thought there was a discrepancy between Moses and Prof. 
Silliman — because they could not understand how there could 
,'■ be light before the sun rose — the light appearing in verse 
three of Genesis, and the sun appearing not until verse six- 
teen — and because they do not know how the moon could 
stand still without upsetting the universe, and because they 
had decided upon the theory of natural selection. A German 
philosopher, in dying, had for his chief sorrow that he had 
not devoted his whole life to the study of the dative case. 
Oh, when your immortality is in peril, why quibble? Quit 
these non-essentials, my dear brother. In the name of God, 
I ask you in regard to these matters of the immortal soul 
that you do not play the fool. 

"What is that man doing in Bowling Green, New York? 
Well, he is going in for a ticket for a trans- Atlantic voyage. 
He is quarreling with the clerk about the spots — the red 


spots on the ticket — and he is quarreling about the peculiar 
signature of the president of the steamship company, and he 
is quarreling about the manner of the clerk who hands him 
the ticket. How long has he been standing there? Three 
weeks. Meanwhile, perhaps, twenty steamers have gone out 
of port, and he hears the shriek of the steam tug that could 
take him to the last vessel that could bear him to his engage- 
ment in London. Still he stands in Bowling Green discuss- 
ing the ticket. What do you say in regard to that man? You 
say he is a fool. Well, in that very way are many men 
acting in regard to the matters of the soul. They are cavil- 
ing about the atonement, the red spots on the ticket — about 
the character of the minister who hands them the ticket — 
about whether it has a divine or human signature, and, 
meanwhile, all their opportunities for heaven are sailing out 
of the harbor, and I hear the last tap of tbe bell announcing 
their last chance for heaven. Go aboard! Do not waste 
any more time in higgling, and carping, and criticising, and 
wondering, and, in the "presence of an astounded heaven, 
playing the fool. 

I go still further, and say to you that those men play 
the fool who undertake to pay out eternity for time. 
How little care do we bestow upon the railroad depot where 
we stop twenty minutes to dine. We dash in and dash out 
again. We do not examine the architecture of the building, 
nor the face of the caterer. We supply our hunger, we pay 
our money, and we put on our hat and take our place in the 
train. What is that depot as compared with the place for 
which we are bound? Now, my friends, this world is only a 
stopping place on the way to a momentous destination, and 
yet how many of us sit down as though we had consum- 
mated our journey, as though we bad come to the final depot, 
when stopping here is as compared with our stopping there 
as is twenty minutes to twelve hours — yea, as the one hun- 
dredth part of a second compared with ten thousand million 



years! Would Spain sell us Cuba for a bushel of wheat? 
Would England sell us India for a ton of coal ? Would 
Venice sell us all her pictures for an American school boy's 
sketch? Ah! that would be a better bargain for England, 
Spain and Venice than that man makes who gives his eter- 
nity for time. Yet how many there are who are saying to-day : 
" Give me the world's dollars and you may have the eternal 
rewards. Give me the world's applause and you may have 
the garlands of God. Give me twenty or forty or sixty years 
of worldly success, and I don't care what becomes of the 
future. I am going into that world uninsured. I take the 
responsibility. Don't bother me about your religion. Here 
I have the two worlds before me — this one and the next. I 
have chosen this. Go away from me, God and angels, and 
all thoughts of the future '" 

But where is Croesus, and Cleopatra, and iEsopas, who 
had one dish of food that cost one million four hundred 
thousand dollars; and Lentulus, 
who had a pond of fish worth one 
hundred and seventy-five thousand 
dollars; and Scaurus, who bought 
a country seat for twenty nine mill- 
ion dollars; and Tiberius, who left 
at death a fortune of one hundred 
and eighteen million and one 
hundred and twenty thousand dol- 
. lars? Where are they? If a windy 
day should blow all the dust that 
is left of them into your eyes it 
would not make you wink twice. 
Ah, my friends, then very certain- 
ly, your comforts of surrounding 

cannot keep back the old archer. You cannot charm him with 
music, or dazzle him with plate or decoy him with pictures or 
bribe him with your money 




What is the use of your struggling for that which you 
cannot keep? As long as you have clothes and food and 
shelter, and education for yourselves and your children, and 
the means for Christian generosity, be satisfied. You worry, 
and tug, and sweat, and wear yourself out for that which 
cannot satisfy; whole flocks of crow's feet on your temples 
and cheeks before they ought to have come there. You are 
ten years older than you ought to be, and yet you cannot 
take along with you into the future world even the two 
pennies on your eyelids to keep them shut after you are dead. 
And yet you hold on to this world with the avidity of the 
miser who persisted in having his bonds and mortgages and 
notes of hand in the bosom of his dressing-gown while he 
was dying, and in the last moment held his parchment in such 
a tight grip that the undertaker after death must almost break 
the man's fingers in order to get the bonds away. 

Men are actually making that choice, while there are 
others who have done far differently. When they tried to 
bribe with money Martin Luther, some one said: "There's 
no use trying to do that— that Dutch beast cares nothing for 
gold." When they tried by giving him a cardinal's hat to 
bribe Savonarola, he stood up in his pulpit and cried out: 
"I will have no red hat, save that of martyi'dom, colored with 
my own blood. - ' These men chose Christ amid great perse- 
cutions; but how many there are in this day, when Chris- 
tianity seems to be popular, who are ashamed of Christ and 
not willing to take the hardships — the seeming hardships — 
of his religion ! And, alas for them ! for long after the crash 
of the world's demolition they shall rind that in all these 
years they were turning their backs upon the palaces of 
heaven, scrabbling on the door of this world's treasure house, 
the saliva of a terrific lunacy on their lips — horribly and 
overwhelmingly playing the fool. 

Once more I say to you that those men play the fool who, 
while thev admit the righteousness of religion, set it down 


for future attendance. Do you know how many times the 
word "now" occurs in the Bible? Over two hundred times. 
One of the shortest words in the Bible, and yet one of the 
grandest in meaning and ramification. "When does the Bible 
say is the best time to repent? Now. When does the Bible 
say that God will forgive? Now. When does God say is 
the only safe time to attend to matters of the soul? Now. 
But that word "now" melts away as easily as a snowflake in 
the evening rain. Wbere is the "now" of the dead of last 
year? the "how" of the dead of last month? the "now" of 
the dead of last week? the "now" of tbe dead of yesterday? 
Time picked it up in its beak and flew away with it. Swam- 
merdam and other naturalists tell us there are insects which 
within the space of one minute are bom, fulfill their mission, 
celebrate their nuptials, and die; but this wonderful "now" 
is more short-lived than they. It is a flash, a stroke, a 
glance. It's cradle is it's grave. If men catch it at all, it is 
with quick clutch. Millions of men have lost their soul 
immortal because they did not understand tbe momentum 
and the ponderosity of that one word. All the strategic 
powers of hell are exerted in trying to subtract from the 
energy and emphasis of that word. They say it is only a 
word of three letters, while there is a better word of eight 
letters "to-morrow." They say: "Throw away that small 
word and take this other grand one;" and so men say: 
"Give us 'to-morrow' and^take away from us 'now;'" and 
between those two words is the Appian Way of death, and a 
great multitude throng that road, jostling and elbowing each 
other, hastening on swifter and swifter to die. 

For how much would you walk the edge of the roof of 
your house? For how much would you come out on the most 
dangerous peak of the Matterhom and wave your cap? You 
say: "No money could induce me to do it." And yet you 
stand to-day with one foot on a crumbling moment and the 
other foot lifted, not knowing where you will put it down, 



while the distance between you and the bottom of the depth 
beneath you no plummet can measure, no arithmetic calculate, 
no wing of lightning cleave. And yet, the Bible tells us that 
unless a man has a new heart he cannot get into heaven ; 
and some of you are not seeking for that new heart. In 
Mexico, sometimes, the ground suddenly opens, and a man 
standing near the gap can see down an appalling distance. 
But, oh, if to-day, at your feet, there should open the chasms 
of the lost world, how you would fling yourself back and hold 
on and cry: 

"God, save me— now! now! now!" 

I greet you, my brother, in the very gate of eternity. 
Some of us may live a longer, and some of us may live a 

shorter time; but, at the 
longest, life is so short that 
I feel we all stand on the 
door-sill of the great future. 
The next step— all the angels 
of God cannot undo the con- 
sequences. Will your exit 
from this life be a rising or 
a falling? The righteous go 
up. The Savior helps them. 
Ministering spirits ineet them. 
The doors of paradise open 
to receive them. Up! up! 
up! 0, what a grand thing 
it is to die with a strong faith in God, like that which Stone- 
wall Jackson had, when, in his expiring moments, he said: 
"Let us cross over the river, and lie down under the shade." 
But to leave this world unpreparedly is falling — falling 
from God, falling from hope, falling from peace, falling 
from heaven — swiftly falling, wildly falling, forever falling. 
So it was with one who had been eminent for his intelli- 
gence, but who had omitted all preparation for the future 



world, and had come down to bis last hour. He said to his wife, 
seated by the bedside: "Oh, don't talk to me about pain ; it 
is the mind, wornan, it is the mind ! Of all the years of my life, 
I never lived one minute for heaven. It is awfully dark here, " 
he whispered ; "it is awf idly dark. I seem to stand on the slip- 
pery edge of a great gulf. I shall fall! I am falling!" And 
with a shriek, as when a man tumbles over a precipice, he 
expired. Wise for this world; about all the matters of his 
immortal soul he was, his life long, playing the fool. What 
do you think about the case of a man who has been all his 
life amid Bibles and churches, so that he knows his duty. 
Christ has offered to do all for that man that a divine Savior 
can offer to do for a dying soul. Heaven has been offered 
him, yes, been pushed upon him, and yet he has not accepted 
it, and he deliberately allows his chances for life to go away 
from him. What do you say of that one? "Hallucinated," 
says one; "Monomaniacal," says another; "Playing the 
fool," says another. 0, how many there are taking just that 
position ! There is such a thing as pyromania, an insanity 
which disposes one to destroy buildings by fire; but who 
would have thought there was a pyromania of the immortal 
nature, and that any one could be so struck through with 
that insanity as to have a desire and disposition to consume 
the soul. 

Awake, man! awake, woman! from the phantasia, real 
or affected. Take Christ. Escape for eternity. Just see 
what has been" done for you. Lift the thorny cap from the 
brow of Jesus, and see the price that was paid for your 
liberation. Look at the side, and see where the spear went 
in and moved round and round, amid broken arteries, the 
blood rushing forth in awful sacrifice for your sins. O, wrap 
those bare and mutilated feet of the dying Lord in your 
womanly lap, for they were torn in a hard tramp for your 
soul! 0, for tears to weep over this laceration of Christ! 
0, for a broken heart to worship him! 0, for an omnipotent 


impulse strong enough to throw this whole country down at 
the feet of a crucified and risen Jesus ! We must repent. We 
must believe. We must be saved. I can not consent to 
have you lose your souls. Come with me, and as in the 
summer time we go down to the beach and bathe in the 
waters, so to-day let us join hands and wade down into the 
summery sea of God's forgiveness. Boll over us, tides of 
everlasting love, roll over us ! Dear Lord, we knock at the 
door of mercy, not as the demented knock, not knowing 
what they want, but knocking at the door of mercy, because 
we want to come in, while others run their meaningless 
hands up and down the panels, and scrabble at the gate, in 
the presence of God, and men, and angels, and devils, play- 
ing the fool. 



When Christian people shall have had the courage to 
look upon the sins of the city, and the courage to apply the 
gospel to those sins, then will come the time when so entirely 
free from ruffianism and vagabondism will all the streets of 
all the cities be, that the children, without any protection of 
police, or any parental anxiety, shall fly kite and play ball 
anywhere. "The streets of the cities shall be full of boys 
and girls playing in the streets thereof." But before that 
time, oh, how much expurgation. I have laughed to see 
some of the American clergy run about with their hands full 
of court-plaster to cover up the sins that I have probed. A 
little green court-plaster for this, a little white court-plaster 
for that, a little blue court-plaster for something else. Ah ! 
my friends, court-plaster can cover up, but it cannot cure. 
Not saying what my theory is in regard to the treatment of 
physical disease, in morals I am an allopathist, and I believe 
in giving a good stout dose to throw the ulcers to the sur- 
face, and then put on the salve of the old-fashioned gospel 
which Christ mixed to cure Bartimeus's blind eyes, and the 
young man who had fits, and the ten lepers, and the miseries 
of all generations. 

There is no man on earth who has more exhilarant hope 
in regard to the moral condition and prosperity of our great 
American cities, but that hope is not based on apology or 
covering up, but upon exploration, exposure and Almighty 
medicament. After as thorough an examination as was pos- 
sible, I tell you what I consider to be the moral condition of 
this country, as inferred from Washington, the city of official 




power; Boston, the city of culture; Philadelphia, the city of 
beautiful order; Chicago, the city of miraculous growth; New 
York, the city of commercial supremacy; Brooklyn, the city 
of homes. As the. cities go, so goes the land. Who has 
moral barometer mighty enough to tell the influence of Cin- 

cinnati upon Ohio, or of Baltimore upon Maryland, or of 
Charleston upon South Carolina, or of New Orleans upon 
Louisiana, or of Louisville upon Kentucky, or of San Fran- 
cisco upon California? Let me feel the pulse of the cities, 
and I will tell you the pulse of the land. God gives to every 
city, as to every individual, a mission. As our physical and 


mental characteristics show what our personal sphere is, so 
topographical and historical facts show the mission of a city. 
Every city comes to he known for certain characteristics; 
Bahylon for pride, Sparta for military prowess, Dresden for 
pictures, Eome for pontifical rule, Venice for architecture in 
ruins, Glasgow for shipbuilding, Edinburgh for learning, and 
London for being the mightiest metropolis of the world. 
Our American cities, of course, are younger, and therefore 
their characteristics are not so easily defined; but I think I 
have struck the right word in designation of each. Wrapped 
up and interlocked with the welfare and the very existence 
of this nation stands the city of Washington, on the Poto- 
mac — planted there by way of compromise. At the dining- 
table of Alexander Hamilton it was decided that if the South 
would agree that the National Government should assume 
the State debts, then the North would agree to have the! 
capital on the Potomac instead of on the Delaware. So the 
capital went from Annapolis to Philadelphia, and from Phil- 
adelphia to Trenton, and from Trenton to New York, and 
then passed from New York to the Potomac, where it will 
stay until within a century it shall be planted on the banks 
of the Mississippi, or the Missouri, just as soon as the nation 
shall find out from the law of national growth that it is bet- 
ter to have the hub of a wheel at the center rather than at 
the rim of the tire. "Well," you say, "what's all that to 
me?" You have just as much to do with the city of Wash- 
ington as your heart has to do with your body. Washington 
is the heart of the nation. If it send Out good blood, good 
national health. If it send out bad blood, bad national sick- 
ness. It is to me one of the most fascinating cities in the 
world, and I wish to show you that it has come to a higher 
condition of morality than it has ever before reached. It is 
a city of palaces. He who has seen the Treasury buildings, 
and the National Post-office, and the Capitol, and the Depart- 
ment of State, has seen the grandest triumphs of masonry, 



architecture, painting and sculpture. I put the eight panels of 
the bronze door of the Capitol against the door of the Church of 
Madeleine, at Paris. 

You talk about the works of the old masters. Go to 
Washington and see the works of the new masters: Leutz's 
"Westward Ho," Brumidi's frescoes, Greenough's Washing- 
ton, Crawford's statue of Freedom. I put the white marble 


mountain of magnificence in which our Congress assembles 
against the Tuilleries and the Parliament houses of London. 
It is a city laid out more grandly than any city in the land. 
Mr. Ellicott by astronomical observations running the great 
boulevards from north to south, and from cast to west. 
Every inch of its Pennsylvania avenue historical with the 
footsteps of Webster, and Clay, and Jackson, and Calhoun, 
and Washington. Hundreds of thousands of people along 
those streets vociferating at the inaugurations. Streets 
along which Charles Sumner moved out toward Mount 
Auburn, and Abraham Lincoln toward Springfield, the bells 
of the nation tolling at the obsequies, and the organs of the 
continent throbbing with the Dead March. City of huzza and 
requiem. City of patriotism and debauchery. City of national 
sacrifice and back pay. City of Senatorial dignity and cor- 
rupt lobby. City of Emancipation Proclamation and Credit 
Mobilier. City of the best men and the worst. City of 

I have watched that city when Congress was in session 
and when Congress was away. The morals of the city are 
fifty per cent better when Congress is away. At that time, 
piety becomes more dominant. It is one of the woes of this 
country that so many national legislators leave their families 
at home. These distinguished men coming to Washington 
show the need of domestic supervisal. A man entirely 
absent from elevated female society is naturally a bear. Men 
are better at home than they are away from home. It is said 
that even ministers of the gospel during vacation sometimes 
go to the Saratoga horse-races. It is said that some mem- 
bers of Congress, faithful to their religious duties during 
vacation, during term time give the vacation to their religion. 
There are iniquities in Washington, however, not associated 
with office — iniquities that stay all the year round. Plenty 
of drinking establishments, plenty of hells of infamy, and 
the police in their attempts to keep order do not get as much 



encouragement as they ought from the courts and churches. 
On Christmas Day ten men in contest on Pennsylvania 
avenue, one of them shot dead, others bruised and mangled, 


the culprits brought before the District Attorney and let go. 
The sins rampant in New York and Brooklyn rampant in 
Washington. Two thousand dram-shops and grocery stores 
and apothecary shops where they sell strong drink — two 
thousand in Washington. Twelve thousand nine hundred 
and eighty-three arrests in one year. Over four thousand 
people in that city who neither read nor write. One hundred 
and twenty thousand dollars of stolen property captured by 
the police in a single year. All this suggestive to every intel- 
ligent mind. Washington wants more police. The beat of 
each policeman in Washington and Georgetown is on an 
average ten miles. Only nine mounted police in that vast 
city, which has rushed up in population and more than 
doubled in nine years. But oh ! what an improvement since 
the day when the most flourishing liquor establishments were 
under the National Capitol, and Congressmen and Senators 
went there to get inspiration before they made their speeches, 
and went there to get recuperation afterward. Thanks to 


Henry Wilson and a few men like him for the overthrow of 
that abomination. During the war there were one hundred 
gambling-houses in the city of Washington ; there were over 
five hundred professional gamblers there. One gambling- 
house boasted that in one year it had cleared over half a 
million of dollars. During one session of Congress the 
keeper of a gambling-house went to the Sergeant-at-Arms at 
the Capitol and presented an order for the greater part of 
the salary of many of the members, who had lost so heavily 
at the faro-table that they had thus to mortgage their salaries; 
and if now, when there are about twenty gambling-bouses 
remaining in the city of Washington, you should go, you 
would find in those places clerks of departments, book-keep- 
ers, confidential and private secretaries; and if you should 
go to some of the more expensive establishments, near 
Pennsylvania avenue and Thirteenth and Fourteenth streets, 
you would find in those gambling-houses members of Con- 
gress, officers of the army, gentlemen distinguished all the 
land over. It seems to me that the reporters of Washington 
are not as wide awake as our reporters, or they would give to 
the different States of the Union the names of the places 
where some of their great representatives in Congress are 
accustomed to spend their evenings. But what a vast improve- ' 
nient in the morals of that city! Dueling abolished. No 
more clubbing of Senators for opposite opinion. Mr. Covode, 
of Pennsylvania, no more brandishes a weapon over the head 
of Barksdale, of Mississippi. Grow and Heitt no more take 
each other by the throat. Griswold no more pounds Lyon, 
Lyon snatching the tongs and striking back until the two 
members in a scuffle roll on the floor of the great American 
Congress. Oh! there has been a vast improvement. 

Is it not a matter of great congratulation that in late 
years there have been more thoroughly Christian men at the 
heads of Departments of State in Washington than at any 
time since the foundation of the Government, and that the 


wife of President Hayes, by her simplicity of wardrobe in the 
White House, put condemnation upon that extravagance of 
wardrobe which well-nigh shipwrecked some other adminis- 
trations, and by the banishment of the wine-cup from State 
dinners showed to people in this country in high position that 
people may be jolly and yet be sober? Whatever may be 
your (minion in regard to politics, I have to tell you that there 
has never been less rum and tobacco, more Methodist hymn- 
books, or a higher style of personal morality among those in 
authority than at present. 

I came back from my observations of the city of Wash- 
ington impressed with two or three things. And first, while 
I would not have the question of a man's being a Christian 
or not a Christian brought into the political contest, I do 
demand that every man sent to Washington, or to any other 
place of authority, be a man of good morals. Will you send 
a blasphemer, as you have sometimes? Blasphemy is an 
indictable offense against the State. Will you send to Wash- 
ington a man to make laws who breaks laws ? Will you send 
an atheist? How can he swear to support the Constitution 
of the United States when there is no solemnity in an oath 
if there be no God? Will you send a man who indulges in 
games of chance, whether the amount be five hundred dollars 
or five cents? No. Gambling is denounced by the statute 
of every State. Will you send a libertine? Then you insult 
every family in the United States. Before you send a man 
to your City Hall, or your State Legislature, or to your 
national council, go through him with a lighted candle and 
find if he swear, if he lie, if he cheat, if he dishonor the 
family relation, if he keep bad company. If he does let him 
stay at home. Scratch his name off your ticket with the 
blackest ink, and put on a blot after. How dare you send 
such a man to a Congress where John Quincy Adams died, 
or to a Senate Chamber where Theodore Frelinghuysen sat, 
his face illumined with charity and heaven? No religious 


test, but a moral test, is demanded for every ballot-box in 
the city, State, and national elections. Years ago some men 
were sent to Congress — and I am sorry to say there are some 
of them left — who were walking charnel-houses. Nothing 
but a grave-digger's spade could free the world from their 
corruption. Some of them died of delirium tremens, and in 
a brothel. After they had been dead a little while, some 
member, for the purpose of giving a stone-cutter a lucrative 
job, moved that a large sum of city, State, or national funds 
be appropriated for building a monument. Now, I have no 
objections to such a monument to such a man, if you put on 
it the right kind of epitaph and uncover it in the right way. 
Let the uncovering of that monument be when an August 
thunder-storm is approaching. Let the blocks of marble of 
that monument be cut in the shape of the ivory "chips" in 
which the deceased patriot used to gamble. On the four 
corners of the pedestal of the monument, cut in marble, let 
there be wine-cup, flask, decanter, demijohn. Then gather 
around for the dedication of this monument the fragments 
of families whom he despoiled, and let them come, and on 
each block of marble let them drop a bitter tear; and then 
when the blackest fold of that August thunder-storm has 
wrapped the top of the monument in darkness, and when 
some man high in church or State, recreant to the truth, 
stands there delivering the eulogium, let the black cloud 
open and a bolt strike into dust the monumental infamy 
with a thunder which shall make all our American capitals 
quake with the reverberation : "The name of the wicked shall 

I came back from Washington with the impression that 
we need a great national religion. I do not mean a religion 
controlled by State officials, but I mean a religion dictated 
by a nation gospelized. I mean a religion mighty enough to 
control the morals of a nation. Old politicians will not be 
reformed. The undertakers must hurry up the funerals in 


these cases 01 political mortification. They will never be 
any better, those men. But gospelize the voters and then 
you will have gospelized officers of government. The pivot 
on which this nation turns is the ballot-box. Set that pivot 
on the Bock of Ages. There is only one being who can save 
this nation, and that is God. We talk a great deal about 
putting the name of God more thoroughly in the Constitution 
of the United States. Ah! my friends, it is not God in the 
Constitution that we want; it is God in the hearts of the 

That test is going to come, if not in our time, then 
in the time of our children. There has been a good deal of 
discussion as to whether the battle of Lookout Mountain was 
really fought above the clouds. General Grant said no. 
General Hooker said yes. We will not go into that discus- 
sion ; but I tell you that every battle in this country for 
ninety-eight years has been fought above the clouds, God 
and angels on our side. First came the war of the American 
Bevolution. That was the birth-throe that ushered this 
nation into life. Then came the war of 1812. That was 
the infantile disease through which every child must go. 

Then came the war of 1861. That was the great typhoid 
which was to revolutionize the national system ; and when 
this nation resumed specie payments, that was the settlement 
of the doctor's bill! Now let the nation march on in its 
grand career. Lord God of Bunker Hill, out of the trenches 
of Gettysburg, so long leading us with pillar of fire by night, 
give us the pillar of cloud by day, Lord God of Joshua, bring 
down the walls of opposition to this nation, at the blast of 
the Gospel trumpet. Lord God of Daniel, move around 
about us amid the leonine despotisms that growl for our 
destruction. Lord God of our fathers, make us worthy 
descendants of a brave ancestry. Lord God of our children, 
bring forth from the cradle of the rising generation a race to 
do better than we when our hand and voice are still. Then 
let all the rivers of this land flowing into the gulf, or into 


the Atlantic and Pacific seas, be rivers of salvation, and all 
the mountains, Olivets of truth and Pisgahs of prospect, and 
the mists rising from the lakes will be the incense of holy 
praise, and our cities will be so thoroughly evangelized that 
boys and girls will be found playing in the streets thereof. 

Worldly greatness is a very transitory and unsatisfactory 
thing. Great men, I noticed in Washington, are great only 
a little while. The majority of those men whom you saw 
there ten or fifteen years ago are either in the grave or in 
political disgrace. How rapidly the wheel turns ! Call the 
roll of Jeffersons's Cabinet. Dead. Call the roll of Madi- 
son's Cabinet. Dead. Call the roll of Monroe's Cabinet. 
Dead. Call the roll of Pierce's Cabinet. Dead. Of Abra- 
ham Lincoln's Cabinet, if I remember right, all dead but 
one, and he as good as dead. Call the roll of Grant's Cab- 
inet. One or more of them worse than dead. The Con- 
gressional burying-ground in the city of Washington has one 
hundred and sixty cenotaphs planted in honor of members 
who died while in office ; but they are only suggestive of a 
vaster congress departed. What is political honor in this 
country? As far as I can judge, it is the privilege of being 
away from home amid temptations that have slain the 
mightiest, bored to death by office-seekers, assaulted by 
meanest acrimony, and kicked into obscurity, with your 
health gone, when your time is out. One of the Senators of 
the United States dying in Flatbush Hospital, idiotic from 
his dissipations. One member of Congress I saw, years ago, 
seated drunk on the curbstone in Philadelphia, his wife 
trying to coax him home. A Congressman from New 'York, 
years ago, on a cold day, picked out of the Potomac, into 
which he had dropped through his intoxication, the only time 
when he ever came so near losing his life by too much cold 
water. Delaware had a Senator whose chief characteristic 
was he was always drunk. Illinois had a Senator celebrated 
in the same direction. Oh! my readers — and I say this 
especially to young men — there are so many temptations 



coming around all political honors, that before you seek them 
you had better see whether your morals are incorruptible. 
And I also point out to you the fact that American politics 
are most unfair to the most faithful and self-sacrificing men. 
I will never forgive American politics for the fact that it slew 


Horace Greeley. This country never saw a better patriot. 
His whole life was given to reform, making a magnificent 
record for his country, all his deeds of self-sacrifice and his 
brilliant intellectual achievements forgotten in one horn. 
There came a time when he felt that he, better than any 



other man in the Presidential chair, could adjust the difficulties 
between the sections, and while he was talking about the 
North and the South " clasping hands across the bloody 
chasm," American politics pushed him into it. When Amer- 
ican politics did that, it committed the greatest outrage of 
the century, and proved itself guilty of patricide, in the fact 
that it murdered a father, and of regicide in the fact that it 
slew a king. Oh! young men, look not for the honors of 
this world; look only for the honors that come from God. 
They never intoxicate. They never destroy. Crowns, 
thrones, scepters, dominions — will you have them? Did you 
ever hear Florence Eice Knox sing "The Lost Chord? " That 
song is founded on this beautiful idea. Some one sat at a 
piano or organ in reverie, fingers wandering among the keys, 
when she touched a chord of infinite sweetness that sent all 
her soul vibrating with comfort and with joy. But she kept 
that last chord of music only a moment. "While she played 
she lost it, and for years she sought, but found it not. But 
one day she bethought herself, in a better country, — in 
heaven, among the minstrelsy of the saved, —she would find 
again that lost chord. If you have heard Florence Rice 
Knox sing " The Lost Chord," piano on one side, organ on 
the other side accompanying, then you have heard something 
most memorable. Our first parents in Paradise had happi- 
ness for a little while, and then missed it. Men have gone 
searching it through fame and applause and riches and 
emolument, but found it not. In all the ages it has eluded 
their grasp. It is the lost chord. Blessed be God, in Christ, 
our peace we find again, that which we could find nowhere 
else. He is the lost chord found. The symphony begins 
here amid our sorrows, which we must have comforted, and 
our sins, which we must have slain; but it will come to its 
mightiest music in the day when the baton of the eternal 
orchestra shall begin to swing, and we shall, like St. John in 
apocalyptic vision, hear the harpers harping with their harps. 
That will be the lost chord found. 



The morals of a nation seldom rise higher than the virtue 
of the rulers. Henry VIII. makes impurity popular and 
national. William Wilberforce gives moral tone to a whole 
empire. Sin bestarred and epauletted makes crime respect- 
able and brings it to cjmjmization. ,. Malarias arise from the 
swamp and float upward, but moral distempers descend from 
the mountain to the plain. The slums only disgust men with 
the bestiality of crime, but dissolute French court or corrupt 
congressional delegation puts a premium upon iniquity. 
Many of the sins of the world are only royal exiles. They 
had a throne once, but they have been turned out, and they 
come down now to be entertained by the humble and the 

There is not a land on earth which has so many moral 
men in authority as this land. There is not a session of 
legislature, or Congress, or Cabinet, but in it are thoroughly 
Christian men, men whose hands would consume a bribe, 
whose cheek has never been flushed with intoxication, whose 
tongue has never been smitten of blasphemy or stung of a 
lie; men whose sjDeeches in behalf of the right and against 
the wrong remind us of the old Scotch Covenanters, and the 
defiant challenge of Martin Luther, and the red lightning of 
Micah and Habakkuk. These times are not'half "as -bad-as 
the times that are gone. I judge so from the fact that Aaron 
Burr, a man stuffed with iniquity until he could hold no more, 
the debaucher of the debauched, was a member of the Legis- 
lature, then Attorney-General, then a Senator of the United 
States, then Vice-President, and then at last coming within 





one vote of the highest position in this nation. I judge it 
from the fact that more than half a century ago the Governor 
of New York disbanded the Legislature because it was too 
corrupt to sit in council. 

There is a tendency in our time to extol the past to the 
disadvantage of the present, and I 
suppose that sixty years from now 
there may be persons who will rep- 
resent some of us as angels, although 
now things are so unpromising. Bat 
the iniquity of the past is no excuse 
for the public wickedness of to-day, 
and so I unroll the scroll. Those 
who are in editorial chairs and in pul- 
pits may not hold back the truth. 
King David must be made to feel the 
reproof of Nathan, and Felix must 
tremble before Paul, and we may not 
walk with muffled feet lest we wake up some big sinner. If 
we keep back the truth, what will we do in the day when 
the Lord rises up in judgment and we are tried not only for 
what we have said, but for what we have declined to say? 

In unrolling the scroll of public wickedness, I first find 
incompetency for office. If a man struggle for an official 
position for which he has no qualification, and win that posi- 
tion, he commits a crime against God and against society. 
It is no sin for me to be ignorant of medical science; but if 
ignorant of medical science I set myself up among profes- 
sional men and trifle with the lives of people, then the 
charlatanism becomes positive knavery. It is no sin for me 
to be ignorant of machinery; but if knowing nothing about 
it I attempt to take a steamer across to Southampton and 
through darkness and storm I hold the lives of hundreds of 
passengers, then all who are slain by that shipwreck may 
hold me accountable. But what shall I say of those who 


attempt to doctor our institutions -without qualification and 
who attempt to engineer our political affairs across the rough 
and stormy sea, having no qualification? We had at one 
time in the Congress of the United States men who put one 
tariff upon linseed oil and another tariff upon flaxseed oil, 
not knowing they were the same thing. We have had men 
in our legislatures who knew not whether to vote aye or no 
until they had seen the wink of the leader. Polished civilians 
acquainted with all our institutions run over in a stampede 
for office hy men who have not the first qualification. And 
so there have heen school commissioners sometimes nomin- 
ated in grog-shops and hurrahed for hy the rabble, the men 
elected not able to read their own commissions. And judges 
of courts who have given sentence to criminals in such 
inaccuracy of phraseology that the criminal at the bar has 
been more amused at the stupidity of the bench than alarmed 
at the prospect of his own punishment. I arraign incom- 
petency for office as one of the great crimes of this day in 
public places. 

I unroll still further the scroll of public wickedness, and 
I come to intemperance. There has been a great improve- 
ment in this direction. The senators who were more cele- 
brated for their drunkenness than for their statesmanship 
are dead or compelled to stay at home. I very well remember 
that there went from the State of New York at one time, and 
from the State of Delaware, and from the State of Illinois, 
and from other States men who were notorious everywhere 
as inebriates. The day is past. The grog-shop under the 
national Capitol to which our rulers used to go to get inspira- 
tion before they spoke upon the great moral and financial 
and commercial interests of the country, has been disbanded; 
but I am told even now under the national Capitol there are 
places where our rulers can get some very strong lemonade. 
But there has been a vast improvement. At one time I went- 
to Washington, to the door of the House of Representatives, 


and sent in my card to an old friend. I had not seen him 
for many years, and the last time I saw him he was con- 
spicuous for his integrity and uprightness ; but that day when 
he came out to greet me he was staggering drunk. 

The temptation to intemperance in public places is simply 
terrific. How often there have been men in public places 
who have disgraced the nation. Of the men who were 
prominent in political circles twenty-five or thirty years ago, 
how few died respectable deaths. Those who died of delirium 
tremens or kindred diseases were in the majority. The 
doctor fixed up the case very well, and in his report of it said 
it was gout, or it was rheumatism, or it was obstruction of 
the liver, or it was exhaustion from patriotic services, but 
God knew and we all knew it was whisky! That which 
smote the villain in the dark alley, smote down the great 
orator and the great legislator. The one you wrapped in a 
rough cloth, and pushed into a rough coffin, and carried 
out in a box wagon, and let him down into a pauper's grave 
without a prayer or a benediction. Around the other gathered 
the pomp of the land; and lordly men walked with uncovered 
heads beside the hearse tossing with plumes on the way to a 
grave to be adorned with a white marble shaft, all four sides 
covered with eulogium. The one man was killed by log- 
wood rum at two cents a glass, the other by a beverage three 
dollars a bottle. I write both their epitaphs. I write the 
one epitaph with my lead-pencil on the shingle over the 
pauper's grave ; I write the other epitaph with chisel, cutting 
on the white marble of the senator: "Slain by strong 

You know as well as I that again and again dissipation 
has been no hindrance to office in this country. Did we not 
at one time have a Secretary of the United States carried 
home dead drunk? Did we not have a Vice-President sworn 
in so intoxicated the whole land hid its head in shame? 
Have we not in other times had men in the Congress of the 


nation by day making pleas in behalf of the interests of the 
country, and by night illustrating what Solomon said, " He 
goeth after her straightway as an ox to the slaughter and as 
a fool to the correction of the stocks, until a dart strikes 
through his liver." Judges and jurors and attorneys some- 
times trying important causes by day, and by night carousing 
together in iniquity. What was it that defeated the armies 
some times in tbe late war? Drunkenness in the saddle. 
What mean those graves on the heights of Fredericksburg? 
As you go to Kichmond you see them. Drunkenness in the 
saddle. So again and again in the courts we have had 
demonstration of the fact that impurity walks under the 
chandeliers of the mansion and drowses on damask uphols- 
tery. Iniquity permitted to run unchallenged if it only be 
affluent. Stand back and let this libertine ride past in his 
five-thousand-dollar equipage, but clutch by the neck that 
poor sinner who transgresses on a small scale, and fetch him 
up to the police court, and give him a ride in the city van. 
Down with small villainy ! Hurrah for grand iniquity ! If 
you have not noticed that intemperance is one of the crimes 
in public places to-day, you have not been to Albany, and you 
have not been to Harrisburg, and you have not been to 
Trenton, and you have not been to Washington. The whole 
land criesout againt the iniquity. But the two political parties 
are silent lest they lose votes, and many of the newspapers 
are silent lest they lose subscribers, and many of the pulpits 
silent because there are offenders in the pews. Meanwhile 
God's indignation gathers like the flashings around a threat- 
ening cloud just before the swoop of a tornado. The whole 
land cries out to be delivered. The nation sweats great drops 
of blood. It is crucified, not between two thieves, but 
between a thousand, while nations pass by wagging their 
heads, and saying: "Aha! aha!" 

I unroll the scroll of public iniquity, and I come to brib- 
ery — bribery by money, bribery by proffered office. Do not 




charge it upon American institutions. It is a sin we got 
from the other side the water. Francis Bacon, the thinker 
of his century, Francis Bacon, of whom it was said when 
men heard him speak they 
were only fearful that he 
would stop, Francis Bacon, 
with all his castles and all 
his emoluments, destroyed 
by bribery, fined two hundred 
thousand dollars, or Avhat is 
equal to our two hundred 
thousand dollars, and hurled 
into London Tower, and his 
only excuse was he said all 
his predecessors had done 
the same thing. Lord 
Chancellor Macclesfield destroyed by bribery. Lord Chan- 
cellor Waterbury destroyed by bribery. Benedict Arnold 
selling the fort in tbe Highlands for thirty-one thousand five 
hundred and seventy-five dollars. For this sin Georgy 
betrayed Hungary, and Ahithophel forsook David, and 
Judas kissed Christ. And it is abroad in our land. You 
know in many of the legislatures of this country it has 
been impossible to get a bill through unless it had financial 
consideration. ■ The question has been asked softly, some- 
times very softly asked, in regard to a bill, " Is there 
any money in it? " and the lobbies of the legislatures and 
the National Capitol have been crowded with railroad men 
and manufacturers and contractors, and the iniquity has 
become so great that sometimes reformers and philanthro- 
pists have been laughed out of Harrisburg and Albany and 
Trenton and Washington because they came empty-handed. 
"You vote for tins bill and I'll vote for that bill." "You 
favor that monopoly of a moneyed institution and I'll favor 
the other monopoly of another institution." And here is a 


bill that it is going to be very hard to get through the Legis- 
lature, and you will call some friends together at a midnight 
banquet, and while they are intoxicated you will have them 
promise to vote your way. Here are five thousand dollars 
for prudent distribution in this direction and here are one 
thousand dollars for prudent distribution in that direction 
Now, we are within four votes of having enough. You give 
five thousand dollars to that intelligent member from West- 
chester and you give two thousand dollars to that stupid 
member from Ulster, and now we are within two votes of 
having it. Give five hundred dollars to this member who. 
will be sick and stay at home and three hundred dollars to 
this member who will go to see his great-aunt languishing in 
her last sickness. Now the day has come for the passing of 
the bill. The Speaker's gavel strikes. "Senators, are you 
ready for the question? All in favor of voting away these 
thousands or millions of dollars will say 'aye.'" "Aye, aye, 
aye, aye!" "The ayes have it." 

Some of the finest houses of our cities were built out of 
money paid for votes in the legislatures. Five hundred 
small wheels in political machinery with cogs reaching into 
one great centre wheel, and that wheel has a tire of railroad 
iron and a crank to it on which Satan puts his hand and 
turns the center wheel, and that turns the five hundred other 
wheels of political machinery. While in this country it is 
becoming harder and harder for the great mass of the people 
to get a living, there are too many men in this country who 
have their two millions and their ten millions and their 
twenty millions, and carry the legislators in one pocket and 
the Congress of the United States in the other. And there 
is trouble ahead. Eevolution. I pray God it may be 
peaceful revolution and at the ballot-box. The time must 
come in this country when men shall be sent into public 
position who cannot be purchased. I do not want the union 
of Church and State, but I declare that if the Church of 


God does not show itself in favor of the great mass of the 
people as well as in favor of the Lord, the time will come 
when the Church as an institution will be extinct, and Christ 
will go down again to the beach, and choose twelve plain, 
honest fishermen to come up into the apostleship of a new 
dispensation of righteousness manward and Godward. 

Bribery is cursing this land. The evil started with its 
greatest power during the last war, when men said, "Now 
you give me this contract above every other applicant, and 
you shall have ten per cent of all I make by it. You pass 
these broken-down cavalry horses as good, and you shall have 
five thousaud dollars as a bonus. " "Bonus" is the word. And 
so they. sent down to your fathers and brothers and sons, rice 
that was worm-eaten, and bread that was moldy, and meat 
that was rank, and blankets that were shoddy, and cavalry 
horses that stumbled in the charge, and tents that sifted the 
rain into exhausted faces. But it was all right. They got 
the bonus. I never so much believed in a Republican form 
of government as I do to-day, for the simple reason that 
any other style of government would have been consumed 
long ago. There have been swindles enacted in this nation 
within the last thirty years enough to swamp three mon-. 
archies. The Democratic party filled its cup of iniquity 
before it went out of power before the Avar. Then the Repub- 
lican party came along, and its opportunities through the 
contracts were greater, and so it filled its cup of iniquity a 
little sooner, and there they lie to-day, the Democratic party 
and the Republican party, side by side, great loathsome car- 
cases of iniquity, each one worse than the other. Tens of 
thousands of good citizens in all the parties; but you know 
as well as I do that party organization in this country is 
utterly, utterly corrupt. 

Now, if there were nothing for you and for me to do in 
this matter I would not present this subject. There are 
several things for us to do. First, stand aloof from political 


office unless you have your moral principles thoroughly set- 
tled. Do not go into this blaze of temptation unless you 
are fireproof. Hundreds of respectable men have been de- 
stroyed for this life and the life to come because they had 
not moral principle to stand office. You go into some office 
of authority without moral principle, and before you get 
through you will lie, and you will swear, and you will 
gamble, and you will steal. Another thing for you to do is 
to be faithful at the ballot-box. Do not stand on your 
dignity and say, "I'll not go where the rabble are." If need 
be, put on your old clothes and just push yourself through 
amid the unwashed, and vote. Vote for men who love God 
and hate rum. You cannot say, you ought not to say, "I 
have nothing to do with this matter. " Then you will insult 
the graves of your fathers who died for the establishment of 
the government and you will insult the graves of your chil- 
dren who may live to feel the results of your negligence. 
Evangelize the people. Get the hearts of the people right, 
and they will vote right. That woman who this afternoon 
in Sunday-school teaches six boys how to be Christians will 
do more for the future of this country than the man who 
writes the finest essay about the Federal Constitution. I 
know there are a great many good people who think that 
God ought to be recognized in the Constitution, and they are 
making a move in that direction. I am most anxious that 
God shall be in the hearts of the people. Get their hearts 
right, and then they will vote right. 

If there be fifty million people in this country, then at 
least a fifty millionth part of the responsibility rests on you. 
What we want is a great revival of religion reaching from 
sea to sea, and it is going to come. A newspaper gentleman 
asked me a few weeks ago what I thought of revivals. I 
said I thought so much of them I never put my faith in any- 
thing else. "We want thousands in a day, hundreds of thou- 
sands in a day, nations in a day. Get all the people evange- 


lized, brought under Christianized influences. These great 
evils that we now so much deplore will be banished from the 
land. And remember that we are at last to be judged, not as 
nations, but as individuals — in that day when empires and 
republics shall alike go down and we shall have to give 
account for ourselves, for what we have done and for what 
we have neglected to do — in that day when the earth itself 
will be a heap of ashes scattered in the blast of the nostrils 
of the Lord G-od Almighty. God save the United States of 
America ! 



The citizens of Old Jerusalem are in the tip-top of excite- 
ment. A countryman has been doing some wonderful works 
and asserting very high authority. The police court has 
issued papers for His arrest, for this thing must be stopped 
as the very Government is imperilled. News comes that last 
night this stranger arrived at a suburban village, and that 
He is stopping at the house of a man whom he had resusci- 
tated after four days' sepulture. The people rush out into 
the streets, some with the idea of helping in the arrest of 
this stranger when he arrives, and others expecting that on 
the morrow He will come into the town, and by some super- 
natural force oust the municipal and royal authorities and 
take everything in His own hands. They pour out of the 
city gates until the procession reaches to the village. They 
come all around about the house where the stranger is 
stopping, and peer into the doors and windows that they may 
get one glimpse of Him or hear the hum of His voice. The 
police dare not make the arrest because He has, somehow, 
won the affections of all the people. It is a lively night in 
Bethany. The heretofore quiet village is filled with uproar 
and outcry and loud discussion about the strange acting 
countryman. I do not think there was any sleep in that 
house that night where the stranger was stopping. Although 
He came in weary He finds no rest, though for once in His 
lifetime He had a pillow. But the morning dawns, the olive 
gardens wave in the light, and all along the road, reaching 
over the top of Olivet toward Jerusalem, there is a vast 



swaying crowd of wondering people. The excitement around 
the door of the cottage is wild as the stranger steps out 
beside an unbroken colt that had never been mounted, and 
after His friends had strewn their garments on the beast for 
a saddle, the Saviour mounts it, and the populace, excited and 
shouting and feverish, push on back toward Jerusalem. Let 
none jeer now or scoff at this rider or the populace will 
trample him under foot in an instant. There is one long 
shout of two miles, and as far as eye can reach you see wav- 
ings of demonstration and approval. 

There is something in the rider's visage, something in 
His majestic brow, something in His princely behavior, that 
stirs up the enthusiasm of the people. They run up against 
the beast and try to pull off into their arms and carry on 
their shoulders the illustrious stranger. The populace are so 
excited that they hardly know what to do with themselves, 
and some rush up to the roadside trees and wrench off 
branches and throw them in His way; and others doff their 
garments, what though they be new and costly, and spread 
them for a carpet for the conqueror to ride over. "Hosan- 
na!" cry the people at the foot of the hill. "Hosanna!" cry 
the people all up and down the mountain. The procession 
has now come to the brow of Olivet. Magnificent prospect 
reaching out in every direction — vineyards, olive groves, 
jutting rock, silvery Siloam, and, above all, rising on its throne 
of hills, the most highly honored city of all the earth, Jerusa- 
lem. Christ there, in the midst of the procession, looks off 
and sees here the fortressed gates, and yonder the circling 
wall, and here the towers blazing in the sun, Phasaslus and 
Mariamne. Yonder is Hippicus, the king's castle. Looking 
along in the range of the larger branch of that olive tree 
you see the mansions of the merchant princes. Through 
this cleft in the limestone rock you see the palace of the 
richest trafficker in all the earth. He has made his money 
by selling Tyrian purple. Behold now the Temple ! Clouds 


of smoke lifting from the shimmering roof, while the build- 
ing rises up beautiful, grand, majestic, the architectural skill 
and glory of the earth lifting themselves there in one triumph- 
ant doxology, the frozen prayer of all nations. 

The crowd looked around to see exhilaration and transport 
in the face of Christ. Oh, no! Out from amid the gates and 
the domes and the palaces there arose a vision of that city's 
sin and of that city's doom which obliterated the landscape 
from horizon to horizon, and He burst into tears. " He 
beheld the city, and wept over it." 

Standing in some high towers of our cities, we might 
look off upon a wondrous scene of enterprise and wealth and 
beauty; long streets faced by comfortable homes, here and 
there rising into affluence, while we might find thousands of 
people who would be glad to cast palm branches in the way 
of Him who comes from Bethany to Jerusalem, greeting 
Him with the vociferation, "Hosanna! to the Son of David." 
And yet how much there is to mourn over in our cities. 
Passing along the streets Sunday are a great multitude. 
Whither do they go? To church. Thank God for that. 
Listen, and you hear multitudinous voices of praise. Thank 
God for that. When the evening falls you will find Christian 
men and women knocking at hovels of poverty and finding 
no light; taking tbe matches from their pocket, and by a 
momentary glance revealing wan faces and wasted hands and 
ragged bed; sending in, before morning, candles and vials of 
medicine, and Bibles and loaves of bread, and two or three 
flowers from the hot-house. Thank God for all that. But 
listen again, and you hear the thousand-voiced shriek of 
blasphemy tearing its way up from the depths of the city. 
You see the uplifted decanters emptied now, but uplifted to 
fight down the devils they have raised. Listen to that wild 
laugh at the street corner, that makes the pure shudder and 
say, "Poor thing, that's a lost soul!" Hark! to the click of 
the gambler's dice and the hysteric guffaw of him who has 


pocketed the last dollar of that young man's estate. This is 
the banquet of Bacchus. That young man has taken his 
first glass. That man has taken down three-fourths of his 
estate. This man is trembling with last night's debauch. 
This man has pawned everything save that old coat. This 
man is in delirium, sitting pale and unaware of anything 
that is transpiring about hhn— quiet, until after a while he 
rises up with a shriek, enough to make the denizens of the 
pit clap to the door, and put their fingers in their ears, and 
rattle their chains still louder to drown out the horrible out- 
cry. You say, "Is it not strange that there should be so 
much suffering and sin in our cities?" No, it is not strange. 
When I look abroad and see the temptations that are attempt- 
ing to destroy men for time and for eternity, I am surprised 
in the other direction that there are any true, upright, honest, 
Christian people left. There is but little hope for any man 
in these great cities who has not established in his soul sound, 
thorough Christian principle. 

Look around you and see the temptations to commercial 
frauds. Here is a man who starts in business. He says, 
"I am going to be honest;" but on the same street, on the 
same block, in the same business, are Shylocks. Those 
men, to get the patronage of any one, will break all under- 
standings with other merchants, and will sell at ruinous cost, 
putting their neighbors at great disadvantage, expecting to 
make up the deficit on something else. If an honest prin- 
ciple could creep into that man's soul, it would die of sheer 
loneliness ! The man twists about, trying to escape the 
penalty of the law, and despises God, while he is just a little 
anxious about the sheriff. The honest man looks about him 
and says, "Well, this rivalry is awful. Perhaps I am more 
scrupulous than I need be. This little bargain I am about 
to enter is a little doubtful; but then they all do it." I had 
a friend who started in commercial life, and as a book mer- 
chant, with a high resolve. He said, "In my store there 


shall be no books that I would not have my family read." 
Time passed on, and one day I went into his store and found 
some iniquitous books on the shelf, and I said to him, "How 
is it possible that you can consent to sell such books as 
these?" "Oh," he replied, "I have got over those Puritanical 
notions. A man cannot do business in this day unless he 
does it the way other people do it." To make a long story 
short, he lost his hope of heaven, and in a little while he 
lost his morality, and then he went into a mad-house. In 
other words, when a man casts off God, God casts him off. 

One of the mightiest temptations in commercial life in 
all our cities, to-day, is in the fact that many professed 
Christian men are not square in their bargains. Such men 
are in Baptist and Methodist and Congregational and Presby- 
terian Churches. Our good merchants are foremost in Chris- 
tian enterprises ; they are patronizers of art, philanthropic 
and patriotic. God will attend to them in the day of His 
coronation. I am not speaking of them, but of those in 
commercial life who are setting a ruinous example to young 
merchants. Go through all the stores and through all the 
offices, and tell me in how many of those stores and offices 
are the principles of Christ's religion dominant? In three- 
fourths of them? No. In half of them? No. In one- 
tenth of them? Decide for yourself. 

The impression is abroad, somehow, that charity can 
consecrate iniquitous gains, and that if a man give to God a 
portion of an unrighteous bargain, then the Lord will forgive 
him for the rest. The secretary of a benevolent society came 
to me and said, "Mr. So and So has given a large amount of 
money to the missionary cause," mentioning the sum. I 
said, "I can't believe it." He said, "It is so." I went home, 
staggered and confounded. I never knew the man to give to 
anything; but after awhile I found out that he had been 
engaged in the most infamous kind of an oil swindle, and 
then he proposed to compromise the matter with the Lord, 


saying, "Now here is so much for Thee, Lord. Please to let 
me off!" I want to tell you that the Church of God is not a 
shop for receiving stolen goods, and that if you have taken 
anything from your fellows, you had better return it to the 
men to whom it belongs. If from the nature of the circum- 
stances that be impossible, you had better get your stove 
red-hot, and when the flames are at their fiercest toss in the 
blasted spoil. God does not want it. 

The commercial world to-day is rotten through and 
through, and many of you know better than I can tell you 
that it requires great strength of moral character to with- 
stand the temptations to business dishonesties. Thank God, 
a great many of you have withstood the temptations, and 
are as pure and upright and honest as the day when you en- 
tered business. But you are the exceptions in the case. 
God will sustain a man, however, amid all the excitements 
of business, if he will only put his trust in Him. In a drug- 
store, iu Philadelphia, a young man was told he must sell 
blackening on the Lord's day. He said to the head man of 
the firm, I can't possibly do that. I am willing to sell medi- 
cines on the Lord's day, for I think that is right and neces- 
sary; but I can't sell this patent blackening. He was dis- 
charged from the place. A Christian man hearing of it, took 
him into his employ, and he went on from one success to 
another, until he was known all over the land for his faith 
in God and his good works, as well as for his worldly success. 
When a man has sacrificed any temporal financial good for 
the sake of his spiritual interests, the Lord is on his side, 
and one with God is a majority. 

Look around you and see the pressure of ]political life. 
How many are going down under this influence. There is 
not one man out of a thousand that can stand political life 
in our cities. Once in a while a man comes and says, "Now 
I love my city and my country, and, in the strength of God, I 
am going in as a sort of missionary to reform politics." The 


Lord is on his side. He comes out as pure as when he went 
in, and, with such an idea, I believe he will be sustained; 
but he is the exception. When such an upright, pure man 
does step into politics, the first thing, the newspapers take 
the job of blackening him all over, and they review all his 
past life, and distort everything that he has done, until, from 
thinking himself a highly respectable citizen, he begins to 
contemplate what a mercy it is that he has been so long out 
of prison. What a bewitching thing is political life for 
many of our young men. They go in at the grog-shop cau- 
cus. They come out at the ballot-box. To get nominations 
they must sidle up along the rum-soaked population. They 
must "treat;" they must go into the low saloon which is 
marked by a mug of beer on the sign ; they must cross palms 
with the lecherous wretches; they must chuckle over their 
low jokes; yea, they must go down to the level of their con- 
stituency. What is the matter of that man who once moved 
in polite circles, and often in Christian circles? What is the 
matter of his coat? It is lacking in neatness. What is the 
matter of his eye? It is not so clear. What is the matter 
of his cheek? It has an unnatural flush. What is the mat- 
ter of his hat? It is a rowdy's hat. Why has his entire 
nature gone down seventy-five per cent in moral tone? He 
has gone into politics. The most hopeless, God-forsaken 
people in all our cities are those who, not in a missionary 
spirit, but with the idea of sordid gain, have gone into politi- 
cal life. I pray for the prisoners in jail, and think they 
may be converted to God, but I never have any faith to pray 
for an old politician. I suppose God could convert him, but 
I do not know of any case. For the last twenty-five years, 
in our great cities, the political history has been a history of 
fraud, of chicanery, of gouging and of swindling, until New 
Ycrk had a debt of one hundred and twenty million dollars. 
Park swindles. Water Board swindles. Street swindles. 
Boulevard swindles. Penitentiary swindles. City armory 


swindles. Swindles of black and white. Swindles of 
all sizes. What an appalling state of political life the 
simple fact that John Morrissey could he a senator! Ever 
and anon we get up a class of reformers and we send 
them into political life, and, before we know it, some of 
them are in the race of dishonesty, until we are in a state of 
bewilderment, and do not know who are the worst— the men 
in the "ring," or those who are oat of the "ring." New York 
Post-office costing more than the Parliament Houses of Eng- 
land; more, I am told, than the "Capitol" at Washington. 
But where went the money? Ask the Connollys and the 
Sweeneys and the Tweeds of modern politics. 

Our young men say that political life is a quick road to 
fortune. They say, "I know men who five years ago were 
worth nothing, who now have everything." Of the one 
hundred who go into political life, I bid an eternal farewell to 
ninety-nine of them. Their morals will be debauched. 
Their families will be disgraced. Their souls will be 
damned. For a little while they will lounge around 
the Court House in the winter, and in the summer flash in 
and out at the Saratoga races, and then there will be a big 
funeral, with a long line of carriages full of bloats. That 
will be the earthly end of the politician. Starting in a 
grog-shop caucus: ending at the burying ground. The 
family doctor certifying to the Board of Health that the 
Honorable Mr. So and So died of congestion — a soft way of 
putting delirium tremens. 

Then look around and see the allurements to an impure 
life. Bad books, unknown to father and mother, vile as the 
lice of Egypt, creeping into some of the best families ; and 
boys read them while the teacher is looking the other way, 
or at recess, or on the corner of the street, when the groups 
are gathered. These books are read late at night. Satan 
finds them a smooth plank on which he can slide down into 
perdition some of your sons and daughters. Beading bad 


books — one never gets over it. The books may be burned, 
but there is not enough powder in all the apothecary's 
preparations to wash out the stain from the soul. Father's 
hands, mother's hands, sister's hands will not wash it out. 
None but the hand of the Lord God can wash it out. And 
what is more perilous in regard to these temptations, we may 
not mention them. While God in the Bible, from chapter to 
chapter, thunders His denunciation against these crimes, 
people expect the pulpit and the printing-press to be 
silent on the subject, and just in proportion as people are 
impure are they fastidious on the theme. They are so full of 
decay and death they do not want their sepulchers opened. 
But I shall not be hindered by them. I shall go on in the 
name of the Lord Almighty, before whom you and I must at 
last come in judgment, and I shall pursue that vile sin, and 
thrust it with the two-edged sword of God's truth, though I 
find it sheltered under the chandeliers of some of your beau- 
tiful parlors. God will turn into destruction all the unclean, 
and no splendors of surrounding can make decent that 
which He has smitten. God will not excuse sin merely 
because it has costly array and beautiful tapestry and palatial 
residence any more than He will excuse that which crawls, a 
blotch of sores, through the lowest cellar in Elm street. 
Ever and anon, through some law-suit, there flashes upon 
the people of our great cities what is transpiring in seem- 
ingly respectable circles. You call it "High life," you call it 
"Fast living," you call it "People's eccentricity." And 
while we kick off the sidewalk the poor wretch who has not 
the means to garnish his iniquity, these lords and ladies, 
wrapped in purple and fine linen, go unwhipped of public 
justice. You call it "High life," "Fast living," "Eccentric- 
ity." I call it the vomit of hell! Ah, the most dreadful 
part of the whole thing is that there are persons abroad 
whose whole business it is to despoil the young. Salaried by 
infamous establishments, these cormorants of darkness, 


these incarnate fiends bang around your hotels and your 
engine houses and your theaters, and they insinuate them- 
selves among the clerks of your stores, and by adroitest art, 
sometimes get in the purest circles. Oh, what an eternity 
such a man as that will have ! As the door opens to receive 
him, thousands of voices will cry out: "See here what you 
have done;" and the wretch will wrap himself with fiercer 
flame and leap into deeper darkness, and the multitudes he 
has destroyed will pursue him, and hurl at him the long, 
bitter, relentless, everlasting curse of their own anguish. If 
there be one cup of eternal darkness more bitter than 
another, they will have to drink it to the dregs. If, in all 
the ocean of the lost world that comes billowing up, there be 
one wave more fierce than another, it will dash over them. 
"God will wound tbe hairy scalp of him whogoeth on still in 
his trespasses." 

I think you are persuaded there is but little chance in our 
great cities for any young man without the grace of God. I 
will even go further and make it more emphatic and say 
there is no chance for any young man who has not above 
him, and beneath him, and before him, and behind him, and 
on the right of him, and on the left of him, and within him 
the all -protecting grace of God. My word of warning is to 
those who have recently come to tbe city; some of them 
entering banking institutions, and some of them stores and 
shops. Shelter yourselves in God. Do not trust yourselves 
an hour without the defenses of Christ's religion. 

I stood one day at Niagara Falls, audi saw what you 
may have seen there, six rainbows bending over that tremen- 
dous plunge. I never saw anything like it before or since. 
Six beautiful rainbows arching that great cataract! And so 
over the rapids and the angry precipices of sin, where so 
many have been dashed down, God's beautiful admonitions 
hover, a warning arching each peril — six of them, fifty of 
them — a thousand of them. Beware! beware! beware! 

II Ik 


Young men, while yon have time reflect upon these things, 
and before the duties of the office and the store and the shop 
come upon you, look over this whole subject, and after the 
day has passed, and you hear in the nightfall the voices and 
the footsteps of the city dying from your ear, and it gets so 
silent that you can hear distinctly your watch under your 
pillow going "tick, tick!" then open your eyes and look out 
upon the darkness and see two pillars of light, one horizontal, 
the other perpendicular, but changing their direction until 
they come together, and your enraptured vision beholds it — 
the cross ! 



Our blessings are so much more numerous than our 
deserts that the writer is surprised that anybody should ever 
find fault. Having life, and with it a thousand blessings, it 
ought to hush into perpetual silence everything like criticism 
of the dealings of God. "Wherefore doth a living man 

For the last few years the land has been set to the tune of 
" Naomi." There has been here and there a cheerful soloist, 
but the grand chorus has been one of lamentation, accom- 
panied by dirges over prostrated commerce, silent manufac- 
tories, unemployed mechanism, and all those disorders 
described by the two short words " bard times." The fact is 
that we have been paying for the bloody luxury of Avar. 
There were great national differences, and we had not enough 
Christian character to settle them by arbitration and treaty, 
and so we went into battle, wasting life and treasure, and well 
nigh swamping the national finances; and North and South, 
East and West have ever since been paying for these four 
years' indulgence in barbarism. But the time has come 
when this depression ought to end, — yea, when it will end, 
if the people are willing to do two or three things by way of 
financial medicament. The best political economists tell us 
that there is no good reason for continued prostration. Plenty 
of money awaiting investment. Magnificent harvests crowd- 
ing down from the West to the seaboard. The national 
health with never so strong an arm or so clear a brain. Yet 
we go on groaning, groaning, groaning, as though God had put 



this nation upon gruel, and. allowed us but one decent breakfast 
in six months. The fact is the habit of complaining has 
become chronic in this country, and after all these years of 
whimper and wailing and objurgation, we are under such a 
momentum of snivel that we cannot stop. 

There are BEree prescriptions by which I believe that our 
individual and national finances may be cured of their 
present depression. The first is cheerful conversation and 
behavior. I have noticed that the people who are most vocif- 
erous against the day in which we live are those who are in 
comfortable circumstances. I have made inquiry of those 
persons who are violent in their jeremiades against these 
times, and I have asked them : " Now, after all, are you not 
making a living? " And after some hesitation and coughing 
and clearing their throat three or four times, they say, stam- 
meringly: " Y-e-s." So that with a great multitude of 
people it is not a question of getting a livelihood, but they 
are dissatisfied, because they cannot make as much money as 
they would like to make. They have only two thousand 
dollars in the bank, where they would like to have four 
thousand. They can clear in a year only five thousand 
dollars, when they would like to clear ten thousand, or things 
come out just even. Or in their trade they get two dollars 
a day when they wish they could get three or four. "Oh! " 
says some one, " are you not aware of the fact that there is a 
great population out of employment, and that there are hun- 
dreds of the good famdies of this country who are at then 
wits' ends, not knowing which way to turn? " Yes, I know 
it better than any man in private life can know that sad 
fact, for it comes constantly to my eye and ear. But who is 
responsible for this state of things ? 

Much of that responsibility I put upon men in comfort- 
able circumstances, who, by an everlasting growling, keep 
public confidence depressed and new enterprises from starting 
out and new houses from being built. You know very well 


that one despondent man can talk fifty men into despondency, 
while one cheerful physician can wake up into exhilaration a 
whole asylum of hypochondriacs. It is no kindness to the 
poor or the unemployed for you to join in this deploration. 
If you have not the wit and the common sense to think of 
something cheerful to say, then keep silent. There is no 
man that can he independent of depressed conversation. 
The medical journals are ever illustrating it. I Avas reading 
of five men who resolved that they would make an experi- 
ment and see what they could do in the way of depressing a 
stout, healthy man, and they resolved to meet him at different 
points in his journey; and as he stepped out from his house 
in the morning in robust health, one of the five men met him 
and said: "Why, you look very sick to-day. What is the 
matter?" "He said: "I am in excellent health; there is 
nothing the matter." But passing down the street, he began 
to examine his symptoms, and the second of the five men 
met him and said: "Why, how bad you do look." "Well," 
he replied, "I don't feel very well!" After a while, the third 
man met him, and the fourth man met him, and the fifth 
came up and said, "Why, you look as if you had had the 
typhoid fever for six weeks. What is the matter with you?" 
And the man against whom the stratagem had been laid went 
home and died. And if you meet a man with perpetual talk 
about hard times and bankruptcy and dreadful winters that 
are to come, you break down his courage. A few autumns 
ago, as the winter was coming on, people said: "We shall 
have a terrible winter. The poor will be frozen out this 
winter." There was something in the large store of acorns 
that the squirrels had gathered, and something in the phases 
of the moon, and something in other portents, that made you 
certain we were going to have a hard winter. Winter came. 
It was the mildest one within my memory and within yours. 
All that winter long I do not think there was an icicle that 
hung through the day from the eaves of the house. So you 


prophesied falsely. Last winter was coming, and the people 
said: "We shall have unparalleled suffering among the poor. 
It will be a dreadful winter." Sure enough it was a cold 
winter; but there were more large-hearted charities than ever 
before poured out on the country; better provision made for 
the poor, so that there have been scores of winters when the 
poor had a harder time than they did last winter. Another 
winter is coming on, and I hear the evil prophecy already 
rising on the air. I hear it everywhere. Now, let me tell 
you, you lied twice about winter, and I believe you are lying 
this time ! I will give my prophecy on this coming winter. 
That is, it will be the easiest winter we ever had, either in 
one way or the other. If it be severe in temperature, then I 
believe there will be such Christian beneficence that the poor 
will not suffer more than they ever have before. 

Wendell Phillips was so overborne with the dolorousness 
of the times, that he said if we do not inflate, we shall have 
communistic outrages in this country such as they had in 
France. I do not believe it. The parallel does not run. 
They have no Sabbath, no Bible, no God, in France. We 
have all these defenses for our American people, and public 
opinion is such that if people in tins country attempt a cut- 
throat expedition, they will land in Sing Sing, or from the 
gallows go up on tight rope. I do not believe the people of 
this country will ever commit outrages and riot and murder 
for the sake of getting bread. But all this lugubrosity of 
tone and face keeps people down. Now I will make a con- 
tract. If the people of the United States for one week will 
talk cheerfully, I will open all the manufactories; I will give 
employment to all the unoccupied men and women; I will 
make a lively market for your real estate that is eating you 
up with taxes; I will stop the long processions on the way 
to the poor-house and the penitentiary, and I will spread a 
plentiful table from Maine to California and from Oregon to 
Sandy Hook, and the whole land shall carol and thunder 



with national jubilee. But says some one: "I will take 
that contract; but we can't affect the whole nation." My 
readers, representing as you do all professions, all trades, 


and all occupations, if you should resolve never again to 
utter a dolorous word about the money markets, but by 
manner and by voice and by wit and caricature, and above 


all by faith in God, to try to scatter this national .gloom, do 
you not believe the influence would be instantaneous and 
wide-spread? The effect would be felt around the world. 
For God's sake, and for the sake of the poor and for the 
sake of the unemployed, quit growling. Depend upon it, if 
you men in comfortable circumstances do not stop complain- 
ing, God will blast your harvests, and see how you will get 
along without a corn crop ; and He will sweep you with floods 
as he did Galveston ; and He will devour you with grasshop- 
pers as He did Minnesota; and He will burn your city as He 
did Chicago. If you men in comfortable circumstances keep 
on complaining, God will give you something to complain 
about. Mark that! 

The second prescription for the alleviation of financial 
distresses is proper Christian investment. God demands of 
every individual State, and nation a certain proportion of 
their income. We are parsimonious ! We keep back from 
God that which belongs to Him, and when we keep back any- 
thing from God, He takes what we keep back, and He takes 
more. He takes it by storm, by sickness, by bankruptcy, by 
any one of the ten thousand ways which he can employ. 
The reason many of you are cramped in business is because 
you have never learned the lesson of Christian generosity. 
You employ an agent. You give him a reasonable salary; 
and, lo ! you find out that he is appropriating your funds 
besides the salary. What do you do? Discharge him. 
Well, we are God's agents. He puts in our hands certain 
moneys. Part are to be ours ; part are to be His. Suppose 
we take all, what then ? He will discharge us ; He will turn 
us over to financial disasters, and take the trust away from 
us. The reason that great multitudes are not prospered in 
business is simply because they have been withholding from 
God that which belongs to Him. The rule is, give and you 
will receive ; administer liberally and you shall have more to 
administer. I am in full sympathy with the man who was 


to be baptized by immersion, and some one said: "You had 
better leave your pocket-book out; it will get wet." "No," 
said be, "I want to go down under the wave with everything. 
I want to consecrate my property and all to God." And so 
he was baptized. What we want in this country is more 
baptized pocket-books. 

I had a relative whose business seemed to be failing. 
Here a loss, and there a loss, and everything was bothering, 
perplexing, and annoying him. He sat down one day, and 
said: "God must have a controversy with me about some- 
thing. I believe I haven't given enough to the cause of 
Christ." And there and then he took out his check-book 
and wrote a large check for a missionary society. He told 
me: "That was the turning-point in my business. Ever 
since then I have been prosperous. From that very day, 
aye, from that very hour, I saw the change." And, sure 
enough, he went on, and he gathered a fortune. The only 
safe investment that a man can make in this world is in the 
cause of Christ. I have tried it personally on a small scale. 
When I have been mean and stingy toward the cause of 
Christ, I have been perplexed in financial things. When I 
have been comparatively liberal, it has come right back 
upon me. I never yet gave God one dollar but He returned 
five. If a man give from a superabundance, God may or He 
may not respond with a blessing; but if a man give until he 
feels it, if a man give until it fetches the blood, if a man 
give until his selfishness cringes and twists and cowers under 
it, he will get not only spiritual profit, but he will get paid 
back in hard cash or in convertible securities. We often see 
men who are tight-fisted who seem to get along with their 
investments very profitably, notwithstanding all their parsi- 
mony. But wait. Suddenly in that man's history every- 
thing goes wrong. His health fails, or his reason is 
dethroned, or a domestic curse smites him, or a midnight 
shadow of some kind drops upon his soul and upon his busi- 


ness. What is the matter? God is punishing him for his 
small-heartedness. He tried to cheat God, and God worsted 
him. So that one of the recipes for the cure of individual 
and national finances is more generosity. Where you 
bestowed one dollar on the cause of Christ, give two. God 
loves to be trusted, and He is very apt to trust back again. 
He says: "That man knows how to handle money; he shall 
have more money to handle;" and very soon the property 
that was on the market for a great while gets a purchaser, 
and the bond that was not worth more than fifty cents on a 
dollar goes to par, and the opening of a new street doubles 
the value of his house, or in any way of a million God 
blesses him. 

Once the man finds out that secret, and he goes on to 
fortune. There are men whom I have known who for ten 
years have been trying to pay God one thousand dollars. 
They have never been able to get it paid, for just as they 
were taking out from one fold of their pocket-book a bill, 
mysteriously somehow in some other fold of their pocket- 
book there came a larger bill. You tell me that Christian 
generosity pays in the world to come. I tell you it pays 
now, pays in hard cash, pays in government securities. You 
do not believe it? Ah, that is what keeps you back. I knew 
you did not believe it. The whole world and Christendom is 
to be reconstructed on this subject, and as you are a part of 
Christendom, let the work begin in your own soul. "But," 
says some one, "I don't believe that theory; because I have 
been generous and I have been losing money for ten years." 
Then God prepaid you, that is all. What became of the 
money that you made in other days? You say to your son: 
"Now I will give you five hundred dollars every year as long 
as you live." After a while you say: "Well, my son, you 
prove yourself so worthy of my confidence I will just give 
you twenty thousand dollars in a single lump." And you 
give it to him and he starts off. In two or three years he 


does not complain against you : "Father is not taking care 
of me. I ought to have five hundred dollars a year." You 
prepaid your son, and he does not complain. There are 
thousands of us now who can this year get just enough to 
supply our wants ; but did not God provide for us in the 
past, and has He not again and again and again paid us in 
advance? In other words, trusted you all along — trusted 
you more than you had a right to ask? Strike, then, a bal- 
ance for God. Economize in anything rather than in your 
Christian charities. There is not more than one out of 
three hundred of you who ever give enough to do you any 
good, and when some cause of Christianity — some mission- 
ary society or Bible society or Church organization comes 
along and gets anything from you, what do you say? You 
say, "I have been bled," and there never was a more signifi- 
cant figure of speech than that used in common parlance. 
Yes, you have been bled, and you are spiritually emaciated, 
when if you had been courageous enough to go through your 
property and say: "That belongs to God, and this belongs to 
God, and the other thing belongs to God;" and no more 
dared to appropriate it to your own use than something that 
belonged to your neighbor, instead of being bled to death by 
charities you would have been reinvigorated and recuperated 
and built up for time and for eternity. God will keep many 
of you cramped in money matters until the day of your death 
unless you swing out into larger generosities. 

People quote as a joke what is a divine promise: " Cast 
thy bread upon the waters, and it will return to thee after 
many days." What did God mean by that? There is an 
allusion there. In Egypt, when they sow the corn, it is at a 
time when the Nile is overflowing its banks and they sow 
the seed corn on the waters, and as the Nile begins to recede 
this seed corn strikes in the earth and comes up a harvest, 
and that is the allusion. It seems as if they are throwing 
the corn away on the waters, but after a while they gather it 



up in a harvest. Now says God in his word: "Cast thy 
bread upon the waters, and it shall come back to thee after 
many days." It may seem to you that you are throwing it away 
on charities, but it will yield a harvest of green and gold — a 
harvest on earth and a harvest in heaven. If men could 
appreciate that and act on that, we would have no more 
trouble about individual or national finances. 

Prescription the third, for the cure of all our individual 
and national financial distresses : a great spiritual awakening. 
It is no mere theory. The merchantmen of this country 
were positively demented with the monetary excitement in 
1857. There never before nor since has been such a state of 
financial depression as there was at that time. A revival 

came, and three hund- 
red thousand peojde 
were born into the 
kingdom of Godo What 
came after the revival ? 
The grandest financial 
prosperity we have ever 
had in this country. 
The finest fortunes, the 
largest fortunes in the 
United States, have 
been made since 1857. 
"Well," you say, "what 
has spiritual improve- 
ment and revival to 
do with monetary im- 
provement and re- 
vival?" Much to do. 
The religion of Jesus 
Christ has a direct 
tendency to make men honest and sober and truth-telling, 
and are not honesty and sobriety and truth -telling 



auxiliaries of material prosperity? If we could have an 
awakening in this country as in the days of Jonathan 
Edwards, of Northampton, as in the days of Dr. Finley 
of Basking Eidge, as in the days of Dr. Griffin, of Bos- 
ton, the whole land would rouse to a higher moral tone, 
and with that moral tone the honest business enter- 
prise of the country would come up. You say a great 
awakening has an influence upon the future world. I tell you 
it has a direct influence upon the financial welfare of this 
world. The religion of Christ is no foe to successful busi- 
ness; it is its best friend. And if there should come a great 
awakening in this country, and all the banks and insurance 
companies and stores and offices and shops should close up 
for two weeks, and do nothing but attend to the public 
worship of Almighty God — after such a spiritual vacation 
the land would wake up to such financial prosperity as we 
have never dreamed of. Godliness is profitable for the life 
that now is as well as for that which is to come. But my 
readers, do not put so much emphasis on worldly success as 
to let your eternal affairs go at loose ends. I have nothing to 
say against money. The more money you get the better, if 
it comes honestly aud goes usefully. For the lack of it, sick- 
ness dies without medicine, and hunger finds its coffin in an 
empty bread-tray, and nakedness shivers for clothes and fire. 
All this canting tirade against money as though it had no 
practical use. When I hear a man indulge in it, it makes 
me think that the best heaven for him would be an everlasting 
poor-house ! No, there is a practical use in money; but while 
we admit that, we must also admit that it cannot satisfy the 
soul, that it cannot pay for our ferriage across the Jordan of 
death, that it cannot unlock the gate of heaven for our immor- 
tal soul. Yet there are men who act as though packs of bonds 
and mortgages could be traded off for a mansion in heaven, 
and as though gold were a legal tender in that land where 
it is so common that they make paveuients out of it. 


Salvation by Christ is the only salvation. Treasures in? 
heaven are the only incorruptible treasures. Have you ever 
ciphered out that sum in loss and gain, " What shall it 
profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his soul?" 
You may wear fine apparel now, but the winds of death will 
flutter it like rags. Homespun and a threadbare coat have 
sometimes been the shadow of robes white in the blood of 
the Lamb. All the mines of Australia and Brazil, strung in 
one carcanet, are not worth to you as much as the pearl of 
great price. You remember, I suppose, some years ago, the 
shipwreck of the Central America ? A storm came on that 
vessel. The surges tramped the deck and swept down through 
the hatches, and there went up a hundred- voiced death shriek. 
The foam on the jaw of the wave. The pitching of the steamer, 
as though it would leap a mountain. The glare of the signal 
rockets. The long cough of the steam-pipes. The hiss of 
extinguished furnaces. The walking of God on the wave. 0, 
it was a stupendous spectacle. But that ship did not go down 
without a struggle. The passengers stood in long lines trying 
to bail it out, and men unused to toil tugged until their hands 
were blistered and their muscles were strained. x\fter a 
while a sail came in sight. A few passengers got off, but 
the most went down. The ship gave one lurch and was losto 
So, there are men who go on in life — a fine voyage they 
are making out of it. All is well, till some euroclydon of 
business disaster comes upon them, and they go down. The 
bottom of this commercial sea is strewn with the shattered 
hulks. But, because your property goes, shall your soul go? 
0, no ! There is coming a more stupendous shipwreck after a 
while. This world — God launched it six thousand years ago, 
and it is sailing on ; but one day it will stagger at the cry of 
"fire!" and the timbers of the rocks will burn, and the moun- 
tains flame like masts, and the clouds like sails in the 
judgment hurricane. God will take a good many off the 
deck, and others out of the berths, where they are now sleep- 


ing in Jesus. How many shall go down? No one will know 
until it is announced in heaven one day: "Shipwreck of a 
world! So many millions saved! So many millions drowned!" 
Because your fortunes go, because your house goes, because 
all your earthly possessions go, do not let your soul go! May 
the Lord Almighty, through the blood of the everlasting 
covenant, save your souls. 



"He shall devour the prey and at night he shall divide 
the spoils." There is in this story such an affluence of simile 
and allegory, such a mingling of metaphors, that there are a 
thousand thoughts in it not on the surface. Old Jacob, 
dying, is telling the fortunes of his children. He prophesies 
the devouring propensities of Benjamin and his descendants. 
With his dim old eyes he looks off and sees the hunters going 
out to the fields, ranging them all day, and at nightfall com- 
ing home, the game slung over the shoulder, and reaching 
the door of the tent, the hunters begin to distribute the game, 
and one takes a coney, and another a rabbit, and another a 
roe. Or it may be a reference to the habits of wild beasts 
that slay their prey, and then drag it back to the cave or lair, 
and divide it among the young. 

There is nothing more fascinating than the life of a hunt- 
er. On a certain day in all England you can hear the crack 
of the sportsman's gun, because grouse hunting has begun ; 
and every man that can afford the time and ammunition, and 
can draw a bead, starts for the fields. On the 20th of Octo- 
ber our woods and forests resound with the shock of fire- 
arms, and are tracked of pointers and setters, because the 
quail is then a lawful prize for the sportsman. Xenophon 
grew eloquent hi regard to the art of hunting. In the far 
East people, elephant-mounted, chase the tiger. The Ameri- 
can Indian darts his arrow at the buffalo until the frightened 
herd tumble over the rocks. European nobles are often found 
in the fox chase and at the stag hunt. Francis I. was called 


spoils. 425 

the father of hunting. Moses declares of Nimrod : He was 
a mighty hunter before the Lord." Therefore, in all ages of 


the world, the imagery of this story ought to he suggestive, 
whether it means a wolf after a fox, or a man after a lion. 



"In the morning he shall devour the prey, and at night he 
shall divide the spoils." This, in the first place, is descrip- 
tive of those people who, in the morning of their life, give 
themselves up to hunting the world, but afterward, by the grace 
of God, in the evening of their life divide among themselves 
the spoils of Christian character. 

There are aged Christian men and women who would tell 
you that in the morning of their life they were after the world 
as intense as a hound after a hare, or as a falcon swoops upon 
a gazelle. They wanted the world's plaudits and the world's 
gains. They felt that if they could get this world they would 
have everything. Some of them started out for the pleasures 
of the world. They thought that the man who laughed 

loudest was happiest. They 
tried repartee and conun- 
drum and burlesque and mad- 
rigal. They thought they 
would like to be Tom Hoods, 
or Charles Lambs, or Edgar 
A. Poes. They mingled wine 
and music and the spectacu- 
lar. They were worshippers 
of the harlequin, and the 
merry Andrew, and the buf- 
foon, and the jester. Life 
was to them foam and bubble 
and cachination and royster- 
ing and grimace. They were so full of glee they could 
hardly repress their mirth even on solemn occasions, and 
they came near bursting out hilariously even at the 
burial, because there was something so dolorous in the 
tone or countenance of the undertaker. After a while 
misfortune struck them hard on the back. They found 
there was something they could not laugh at. Under 
their late hours their health gave way, or there was a 


spoils. 427 

death in the house. Of every green thing their soul was 
exfoliated. They found out that life was more than a joke. 
From the heart of God there blazed into their soul an earnest- 
ness they had never felt before. They awoke to their sinful- 
ness and their immortality, and now they are at sixty or 
seventy years of age as appreciative of all innocent mirth as 
they ever were, but they are bent on a style of satisfaction 
which, in early life, they never hunted ; the evening of their 
days brighter than the morning. 

Then there are others who started out for financial suc- 
cess. They see how limber the rim of a man's hat is when 
he bows down before some one transpicuous. They felt they 
would like to see how the world looked from the window of 
a three thousand dollar turn-out. They thought they would 
like to have the morning sunlight tangled in the head-gear 
of a dashing span. The wanted the bridges in the Park to 
resound under the rataplan of their swift hoofs. They 
wanted a gilded baldrick, and so they started on the dollar 
hunt. They chased it up one street and chased it down 
another. They followed* it when it burrowed in the cellar. 
They treed it in the roof. Wherever a dollar was expected to 
be, they were. They chased it across the ocean. They 
chased it across the land. They stopped not for the night. 
Hearing that dollar even in the darkness thrilled them as an 
Adirondack sportsman is thrilled at midnight by a loon's 
laugh. They chased that dollar to the money- vault. They 
chased it to the government treasury. They routed it from 
under the counter. All the hounds were out — all the pointers 
and the setters. They leaped the hedges for that dollar, and 
they cried: "Hark away! a dollar! a dollar!" And when at 
last they came upon it and had actually captured it, their 
excitement was like that of a falconer who has successfully 
flung his first hawk. In the morning of their life, 0, how 
they devoured the prey! But there came a better time to 
their soul. They found out that an immortal nature cannot 

428 spoils. 

live on "greenbacks." They took up a Northern Pacific 
bond, and there was a hole in it through which they could 
look into the uncertainty of all earthly treasures. They saw 
some Kalston, living at the rate of twenty-five thousand 
dollars a month, leaping from San Francisco wharf because 
he could not continue to live at the same ratio. They saw 
the wizzen and paralytic bankers who had changed their souls 
into molten gold stamped with the image of the earth, earthly. 
They saw some great souls by avarice turned into IwmuncuU, 
and they said to themselves: "I will seek after higher 
treasure." From that time they did not care whether they 
walked or rode, if Christ walked with them; nor whether 
they lived in a mansion or in a hut, if they dwelt under the 
shadow of the Almighty; nor whether they were robed in 
French broadcloth or in homespun, if they had the robe of 
the Saviour's righteousness; nor whether they were sandaled 
with morrocco or calf-skin, if they were shod with the pre- 
paration of the gospel. Now you see peace on their coun- 
tenance. Now that man says: "What a fool I was to be 
enchanted with this world. Why, I have more satisfaction 
in five minutes in the service of God than I had in all the 
first years of my life while I was gain getting. I like this 
evening of my day a great deal better than I did the morn- 
ing. In the morning I greedily devoured the prey; but now 
it is evening, and I am gloriously dividing the spoil." 

My readers, this world is a poor thing to hunt. It is 
healthful to go out in the woods and hunt. It rekindles the 
lustre of the eye. It strikes the brown of the autumnal leaf 
into the cheek. It gives to the rheumatic limbs a strength 
to leap like the roe. Christopher North's pet gun, the 
Muckle-moued-Meg, going off in the summer in the forests, 
had its echo in the winter-time in the eloquence that rang 
through the university halls of Edinburgh. It is healthy to 
go hunting in the fields ; but I tell you that it is belittling 
and bedwarfing and belaming for a man to hunt this world. 



The hammer comes down on the gun-cap, and the barrel 
explodes and kills you, instead of that which you are pursu- 
ing. When you turn out to hunt the world, the world turns 
out to hunt you; and as 
many a sportsman aiming 
his gun at a panther's heart 
has gone down under the 
striped claws, so, while you / 
have been attempting to de- I 
vour this world, the world! 
has been devouring you. So \ 
it was with Lord Byron. So 
it was with Coleridge. So it 
was with Catherine of Eus- 
sia. Henry II. went out hunt- 
ing for this world, and its 
lances struck through his heart 
world, but the assassin's dagger put an end to his ambition, 


Francis I. aimed at the 

and his life with one stroke, 
on the window of her castle: 


"I believe what you say. 

Mary, Queen of Scots, wrote 

"From the top of all my trust 
Mishap hath laid me in the 
The Queen Dowager of 
Navarre was offered for her 
wedding day a costly and 
beautiful pair of gloves, and 
she put them on; but they 
were poisoned gloves, and 
they took her life. Better a 
bare hand of cold privation 
than a warm and poisoned 
glove of ruinous success. 
"Oh," says some young man, 
I am going to do that very 

430 spoils. 

thing. In the morning of my life I am going to devour the 
prey, and in the evening I shall divide the spoils of Christian 
character. I only want a little while to sow my wild oats, 
and then I will be good." Young man, did you ever take 
the census of all the old people? How many old people are 
there in your house? One, two, or none? How many in a 
vast assemblage? Only here and there a gray head, like the 
patches of snow here and there in the fields on a late April 
day. The fact is that the tides of the years are so strong 
that men go down under them before they get to be sixty, 
before they get to be fifty, before they get to be forty, before 
they get thirty; and if you, my young man, resolve 
that you will spend the morning of your days in devouring 
the prey, the probability is that you will never divide the 
spoils in the evening hour. He who postpones until old age 
the religion of Jesus Christ, postpones it forever. Where 
are the men who, thirty years ago, resolved to become Chris- 
tians in old age, putting it off a certain number of years? 
They are in the lost world. They never got to be old. The 
railroad collision, or the steamboat explosion, or the slip on 
the ice, or the falling ladder, or the sudden cold put an end 
to their opportunities. They have never had an opportunity 
since, and never will have an opportunity again. They 
locked the door of heaven against their soul, and they threw 
away the key; and if they could break jail and come up_ 
shrieking to us, I do not think they would take two minutes 
to persuade us all to repentance. They chased the world, 
and they died in the chase. The wounded tiger turned on 
them. They failed to take the game that they pursued. 
Mounted on a swift courser, they leaped the hedge, but the 
courser fell on them and crushed them. Proposing to barter 
their soul for the world, they lost both and got neither. 

While this is an encouragement to old people who are 
unpardoned, it is no encouragement to the young who are 
putting off the day of grace. This doctrine that the old 

spoils. 431 

may be repentant is to be taken cautiously. It is medicine 
that kills or cures. The same medicine, given to different 
patients, in one case it saves life, and in the other it destroys 
it. This possibility of repentance at the close of life may 
cure the old man while it kills the young. Be cautious in 
taking it. 

There are those who come to a sudden and a radical 
change. You have noticed how short a time it is from morn- 
ing to night— only seven or eight hours. You know that 
the day has a very brief life. Its heart beats twenty-four 
times, and then it is dead. How quick this transition in the 
character of these Benjaminites! "In the morning they 
shall devour the prey, and at night they shall divide the 
spoils." Is it possible that there shah be such a transforma- 
tion in any of our characters? Yes, a man may be at seven 
o'clock in the morning an all-devouring worldling, and at 
seven o'clock at night he may be a peaceful, distributive 
Christian. Conversion is instantaneous. A man passes 
into the kingdom of Cod quicker than down the sky runs 
ziz-zag lightning. A man may be anxious about his soul 
for a great many years: that does not make him a Christian. 
A man -may pray a great while: that does not make him a 
Christian. A man may resolve on the reformation of his 
character, and have that resolution going on a great while : 
that does not make a Christian. But the very instant when 
he flings his soul on the mercy of Jesus Christ, that instant 
is lustration, emancipation, resurrection. Up to that point 
he is going in the wrong direction ; after that point he is 
going in the right direction. Before that moment he is a 
child of sin; after that moment he is a child of God. 
Before that moment hellward; after that moment heaven- 
ward. Before that moment devouring the prey ; after that 
moment dividing the spoil. Five minutes is as good as five 
years. My reader, you know very well that the best things 
you have done you have done in a flash. You made up your 

432 spoils. 

mind in an instant to buy, or to sell, or to invest, or to stop, 
or to start. If you had missed that one chance, you would 
have missed it forever. Now just as precipitate and quick 
and spontaneous will be the ransom of your soul. This 
morning you were making a calculation. You got on the 
track of some financial or social game. With your pen or 
pencil you were pursuing it. This very morning you were 
devouring the prey; but to-night you are in a different mood. 
You find that all heaven is offered you. You wonder how 
you can get it for yourself and for your family. You wonder 
what resources it will give you now and hereafter. You are 
dividing peace and comfort and satisfaction and Christian 
reward in your soul. You are dividing the spoil. 

I have said to persons: "When did you first become 
serious about your sOul?" and they told me: "To-night." 
And to others: "When did you give your heart to God?" 
and they said: "To-night." And still to others: "When 
did you resolve to serve the Lord all the days of your life?" 
and they said: "To-night." I saw by the gayety of their 
apparel that when the grace of God struck them they were 
devouring the prey; but I saw also, in the flood of joyful 
tears, and in the kindling raptures on their brow, and in 
their exhilarant and transporting utterances, that they were 
dividing the spoil. If you have seen a large building when 
the lights were struck, you know that with one touch of 
electricity they all blazed. 0, I would to God that the dark- 
ness of your souls might be broken up, and that by one 
quick, overwhelming, instantaneous flash of illumination 
you might be brought into the light and the liberty of the 
sons of God! 

You see that religion is a different thing from what some 
of you supposed. You thought it was decadence; you 
thought religion was maceration ; you thought it was high- 
way robbery; that it struck one down and left him half 
dead; that it plucked out the eyes; that it plucked out the 

spoils. 433 

plumes of the soul; that it broke the wing and crushed the 
beak as it came clawing with its black talons through the 
air. No, that is not religion. What is religion? It is divi- 
ding the spoils. It is taking a defenceless soul and panoply- 
ing it for eternal conquest. It is the distribution of prizes 
by the king's hand, every medal stamped with a coronation. 
It is an exhilaration, an expansion. It is imparadisation. 
It is enthronement. Keligion makes a man master of earth 
and death and hell. It goes forth to gather the medals of 
victory won by Prince Emanuel, and the diadems of heaven 
and the glories of realms terrestrial and celestial, and then, 
after ranging all worlds for everything that is resplendent, it 
divides the spoil. 

What was it that James Turner, the famous English 
evangelist, was doing when in his dying moment he said : 
" Christ is all ! Christ is all?" Why, he was entering into 
light; he was rounding the Cape of Good Hope; he was 
dividing the spoil. What was the aged Christian Quakeress 
doing when at eighty years of age she arose in the meeting 
one day and said: "The time of my departure is come. My 
grave clothes are falling off? " She was dividing the spoil. 

What is Daniel now doing, the lion tamer? and Elijah 
who was drawn by the flaming coursers? and Paul, the rat- 
tling of whose chains made kings quake? and all the other 
victims of flood and fire and wreck and guillotine, — where 
are they? Dividing the spoil. 

"Ten thousand times ten thousand, 

In sparkling raiment bright, 
The armies of the ransomed saints 

Throng up the steeps of light. 

" 'T is finished, all is finished, 

Their fight with death and sin. 
Fling open -wide the golden gates, 

And let the victors in." 

Oh, what a grand thing it is to be a Christian! We 

434 spoils. 

begin now to divide the spoil, but the distribution will not be 
completed to all eternity. There is a poverty-struck soul, 
there is a business-despoiled soul, there is a sin-struck soul, 
there is a bereaved soul, — why do you not come and get the 
spoils of Christian character, the comfort, the joy, the peace, 
the salvation that I offer you in my Master's name? Though 
your knees knock together in weakness, though your hand 
tremble in fear, though your eyes rain tears of uncontrollable 
weeping — come and get the spoils. Eest for all the weary. 
Pardon for all the guilty. Harbor for all the bestormed. 
Life for all the dead. 

Though you are now children of the world, you may 
become heirs of heaven. Though this very morning you 
were devouring the prey, to-night, all worlds witnessing, you 
may divide the spoil. 



Many persons are willing to acknowledge that the Bible 
is a lamp fit to be set on a parlor table, or in a nursery, or in 
a drawing-room ; but they do not want to hear much about 
the Bible as a lantern, — something to carry about with you 
into all kinds of institutions, and into all kinds of circum- 
stances. Yet I do not know why a lantern should disturb 
anything, save spiders and vermin and bats. Send it every- 
where for the world's illumination. 

But is this Bible such a wonderful book? Yes. It is the 
Kohinoor among diamonds; the mightiest power ever pro- 
jected by the hand of God upon the nations. It is a well so 
deep that innumerable buckets come up with water enough 
to slake the thirst of all nations. It is like a nursery-man's 
garden, where the flowers and the fruits and the trees are so 
closely crowded that from that nursery you may plant a 
county or a state. One seed of that Word of God was 
planted a good many years ago, and it came up in the Kefor- 
mation. Another seed was planted, and it came up the 
blood-red flower of the American Revolution. Another seed 
of the Word of God was planted, and it will come up the 
white flower of the Millennium. Mighty book ! In courts 
of law, when the oath is administered, the witness is roughly 
told, "Kiss the book;" but we put this book to our lips, and 
give it the kiss of earnest affection, and say, "Take away all 
other books, but leave us this; capture all other weapons, 
but leave us this sword with which to conquer; take away 
all other friends, but leave us this counsellor; put out all 



other lights, but extinguish not this. " Dear old book ! Some 
have spit upon thee, and some have burned thee, and some 
have cast upon thee the lie ; but I take thee to be my counsel 
in life, my joy in prosperity, my comfort in sorrow, my pillow 
in death, my song for eternity. Dear old Bible! 

There are many who would like to crowd this Bible out 
from the common school, and they would like to crowd it 
out from the family, and they would like to crowd it out from 
all respectable associations, and they would like to crowd it 
to the very verge of the world, and then pick it up and fling 
it into the blackness of darkness forever. Well, this book is 
on trial, and you are the jurors. Now, prisoner, look upon 
the jury, and jury, look upon the prisoner. Is this book 
guilty or not guilty? Now is the time for us to discuss this 
question. If this Bible ought to be put out of the common 
schools, it ought to be put out immediately; let us go down 
to the schools, and pick up all the Old Testaments and the 
New Testaments, and hurl them out of the window, and look 
under the school desk lest there may be some loose leaves of 
God's holy Word, containing the story of a Saviour's sacrifice 
and of our heavenly inheritance ; let us gather them all up, 
and not only throw them out of the window, but let us burn 
them up, lest by some evil wind they be blown back again 
into the school-house. 

But if the Bible ought to be retained in the common 
schools, then let us decide in that direction. If, after the 
Bible be banished, the Christian Churches rise up and demand 
the re-enthronement of this book in the common-school 
system of this country, it will open a war such as the world 
has never seen. On the one side all the forces of our best 
civilization. On the other side all the forces of iniquity on 
earth and in perdition. If you have anything to say against 
the expulsion of the Bible from the common schools, speak 
out. As a minister of our Lord Jesus Christ, and as an 
American citizen, I want to be heard. I have been warned 


again and again that if I opened nay mouth on these subjects 
it would be disastrous to rne, have been threatened with all 
evil if I kept on in the advocacy of the cause of God and 
good morals ; and men have gone so far they have once fired 
my house, attempting to consume my family, and a second 
time made the attempt; but if there are any people who have 
an idea that by such a process as that my lips shall be closed 
on this or any other subject involving the best interests of 
society, they are much mistaken. 

The Bible ought to be kept in the schools because if you 
cast it out you decree that three-fourths of the population of 
this country shall have no religious culture at all. You tell 
me that the Bible ought to be in the family and in the 
Sabbath-school. Even so. But are you not aware that a 
great majority of the children in this country never see the 
inside of a Sabbath-school, and that in the majority of the 
families of this country God is not acknowledged and the 
Bible is not read? All that tens of thousands of children 
learn of God and Christ and the judgment day and the 
eternal world they learn in the three or four minutes at the 
opening of the day-school. If the statistics be accurate that 
this country is yet to be occupied by three hundred million 
immortals, then I say that that Christian man who votes for 
the expulsion of the Bible from the schools votes for the 
barring out from all the blessings and the excellencies of our 
holy religion two hundred million of the people. I ask if it 
is possible to maintain a Bepublic of self-governed, honest, 
pure, truthful citizens with so small an admixture of morals 
and religion? The man who votes to put out the Bible from 
the schools votes to make this land a nation of atheists, a 
nation of infidels, a nation of debauchees, a nation of out- 
laws. There is no ground-work for thorough, old-fashioned 
morals but the Word of God. 

I am opposed to the expulsion of the Bible from the 
common schools because such a movement would be a war 


upon the consciences of men. The Eonian Catholics, in this 
country, have no objections to the Bible in our common 
schools. What they propose is to have parochial schools 
where the whole system of Eoman Catholicism can be taught. 
Then I tell you that when you put out the Bible from the 
schools you wound the feelings of nine-tenths of the Christian 
people of this country. When you drive out the Bible you 
please the infidels and atheists, and a great many who are 
loose in religion and loose in morals ; but you wound in the 
very depths of the soul thousands and hundreds of thousands 
of Christian men and women who have builded up all their 
hopes for time and eternity on that old book, and believe it 
to be the chief corner-stone of this nation's prosperity. . You 
say you will not send your children to the common schools 
if the Bible is kept there. I reply I will not send my children 
there if the Bible is cast out, and my conscience is as good 
as your conscience. Here is a hospital with a great many 
sick men. There is a man with a wounded arm, and he 
refuses to have any bandage on it, and he refuses to take any 
medicine of the surgeon. Then I see him start through the 
wards of the hospital, and what is he doing? He is tearing 
off the bandages of all the other men, and upsetting their 
medicine, and saying, "I don't want any bandages on my 
arm, and you shall not have any bandages on your arm. " In 
other words these men say, "We don't want our children 
cultured in the knowledge of the Bible, and you shall not 
have your children cultured in the knowledge of the Bible." 
You say, "One man's conscience is as good as another man's 
conscience." I don't believe it. Suppose you were seeking 
a confidential clerk, and two men applied, and one man 
began by saying, "I reject the Bible; I have no faith in it." 
Then the other young man would say, "I believe in the 
Bible ; I love it very much ; it is the great ambition of my 
life to make my character correspond with the teachings of 
that book." Which young man would you take as your con- 


Sciential clerk? Of course the latter. In other words, you 
realize that the conscience of the one man is better than the 
conscience of the other. I have no faith in a man's morality 
who says, "I despise God's Word; I cast out all its teachings ; 
I will have nothing to do with it." Would I trust such a 
man in any relation of this life? No, I would not trust him 
at the ferry-gates with the ferry-master looking the other way; 
he would run through without paying his two cents! This 
proposition to put the Bible out of the schools is a war on 
three-fourths of the Christian people of this country. 

I am opposed to this movement because the Bible seems 
so particularly adapted to the common schools. In an or- 
chestra, one man sweeps the bow across the viol, and by that 
one instrument the other musicians chord up their instru- 
ments to concert pitch. So this thrumming of this harp of 
God's Word at nine o'clock, in the day-school, seems to bring 
into harmonious accord all the other lessons and employments 
of the day. What book is there that inculcates such lessons 
of morality and kindness and love and gentleness and patience 
and generosity and purity? Show me one man, one child, 
in all the world that has ever been injured by reading it. 
We want to have our children go down into the stream of 
God's Word and pluck the lilies from the banks and weave 
the Rose of Sharon in their hair. But remember that a 
great multitude of the children that come up to the public 
schools have no kind influences at home. Some are orphans, 
and some worse than orphans, for they have dissolute parents. 
How pleasant and beautiful and appropriate it is that the 
teacher should open the old Book and read to them: "Come 
unto Me, all ye who are weary and heavy laden, and I will 
give you rest." "As one whom his mother comforteth, so 
will I comfort you." 

What other book has so much simplicity, so much ele- 
gance, so much earnestness of style? It is a better discipline 
than mathematics. It is better history than Bancroft's •' 


is better philosophy than Dougall Stewart's. It is a better 
biography than Plutarch's. All the poems of earth strike 
their chime into this canto, and the beauties of the universe 
blossom in this royal flower, and the charm of river and lake 
arid sea are hung in this one crystal. I went to one of our 
public schools. I heard the Scriptures read, and I heard 
them sing a song, and I thought to myself, after these five 
minutes of interview with God, all the hours of this day 
must be beneficently affected. There will be thousands of 
children gathered in our day-schools, and they will read of 
peace for all the troubled, pardon for aM the guilty, and life 
for all the dead. Now, you who want the Bible out of the 
schools, go in, and hush up those exercises. Say, "Stop that 
music! Quit that reading! Down with the Bible in the 
common schools!" 

Such expulsion implies the right to take away any book 
that acknowledges God or Christian principle. Is there a 
primer, is there a reader, is there a text-book in all our day- 
schools that somehow does not acknowledge the sanctity of 
the marriage relation, or the holiness of the Sabbath, or the 
importance of divine worship, or the existence of God? 
Now, drive the Bible out of the schools, and what is the next 
demand? Take away that primer. Take away that reader. 
How dare you use in your schools a reader which acknowl- 
edges the sanctity of the marriage relation, when there are 
tens of thousands of people who do not believe that there is 
any such sanctity? How dare you have that reader in your 
schools which admits that there is any holiness in the Sab- 
bath, when there are thousands of people who deny it? How 
dare you have a text-book of any kind in your schools which 
has in it the word God spelled with a capital "G," when 
there are thousands of people in this country who do not 
believe there is any God? Yield to this impertinent demand 
for iae e^vulsion of the Bible from the schools, and they will 
co^ w &i otrier infamous demands. It is the first step of a 



long series of steps. Suppose you are on a highway, and a 
robber meets you, and he says, "Your watch." You give 
him your watch. "Now," he says, "I'll take your pocket- 
book." You hand it to him. "Now," he says, "I'll take your 
penknife." You give it to him. "Now," he says, "I'll take 
your coat." You give him your coat. He strips you and 
pounds you and leaves you half dead by the road-side. 
When was the time to make resistance? At the veiy start. 
People come up, and they say, "Take the Bible out of the 
schools." Suppose we give it up? Then they will say, 
"Take this book and that book and the other book; throw 
them all out," until they leave the common school system 
stripped and half dead, not garments enough left to cover the 
nakedness of its folly. When is the time to resist such a 
demand? At the start; and not yielding once you will not 
have to yield afterward. The implication that these men 
have a right to take the Bible out of the common schools 
implies that they have a right to take out any book which 
inculcates moral and religious sentiments. 

This movement throws suspicion on the Bible itself. 
What books are you going to have in your common schools? 
Webster's Dictionary? Yes. 
Ivame's Elements of Criti- 
cism? Yes. Young's Night 
Thoughts to parse out of? 
Yes. Or the Poems of Tenny- 
son, or the writings of 
Carlyle? Yes. Then when 
you say you do not want the 
Bible, do you not give the 
preference to every other 
book, and are you not saying 
to the rising generation, 
"These other books are safe, 
but the Bible is not safe?" If your child be consulting in regard 



to the companionship of ten or fifteen playmates in the street, 
and you say, "You may play with this child, and that, and 
that, and that; but not with that one," do you not throw 
suspicion upon the character of this last child? If we come 
into our common school system and say, "You may have all 
these other hooks, but not the Bible," is not that saying 
to all the boys and girls of this country, "The most unsafe 
book to have is the Bible?" In that way you give judgment 
against the sacred Scriptures in the mind of all the young 
people of the country? 

We oppose the ejection of the Bible from the common 
schools because the evidence of the best men of this country 
oppose such expulsion. What did George Washington say 
in his "Farewell Address?" "Let us with caution indulge 
the supposition that morality can be maintained without 
religion. AVhatever may be conceded to the influence of 
refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and 
experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can 
prevail in exclusion of religious principles." Daniel Webster 
says: "It has been held as a fundamental truth that religion 
is the only solid basis of morals, and that moral instruction 
not resting upon this basis is only building upon sand. It is 
a mockery and an insult to common sense to maintain that a 
school for the instruction of youth, from which Christian 
instruction is shut out, is not atheistical and infidel." 

I would a great deal rather have my sentiments in sym- 
pathy with the sentiments of these men of the past than to have 
them in sympathy with many of the modern base politicians. 
There is a wide distinction between a Christian patriot, — a 
politician like Theodore Frelinghuysen or Governor Briggs of 
the past, — men who were as eminent in the Church of Christ 
as in political circles, — and the base politicians. I think the 
highest style of a man is the consecrated Christian patriot. 
But alas ! for that filthy herd which tramp through many of 
our cities, calling themselves politicians. Base and low in 


all their morals; degraded until there is no lower depth of 
degradation into which they can sink; born in the cesspool 
of political caucus; cursed to crawl on their belly through 
the slush and slime of partisanship ; demanding the thrust- 
ing out of the Bible to please the foreign vote; anxious to 
lick the filthy heel of the emigrant before he has had time 
to wash his feet. I abhor them. The pure politicians of 
this and past times have declared themselves in favor of the 
retention of the Bible in the schools. 

It is a supreme book from the hands of a Supreme God, 
and has a right to go anywhere. Suppose a proclamation 
should be made by the President of the United States, and 
some of us should gather a regiment, and say, "You may 
send that proclamation wherever else you like, but don't send 
it here." A few officers of the Government would come out 
and put an end to that rebellion. Suppose we crossed the 
sea and fenced off a part of Great Britain, and should say, 
"We are very willing that Queen Victoria shall reign over all 
Great Britain save these few acres, which we mean to keep 
ourselves," A few officers would come forth and put an end 
to that rebellion. Now, this proposition to put the Bible out 
of the common schools is rebellion against the throne of 
God and secession from the divine government. This book 
is a proclamation from the throne of God, and who has a 
right to stand in the way of it? It is crying out in the face 
of high heaven, " Lord, go anywhere with Thy book, but 
keep out of our common schools." The Bible being a su- 
preme book from the hand of a Supreme God, has a right to 
go anywhere. 

I still further am opposed to the expulsion of the Bible 
from the common schools, because the common school is a 
child of Protestantism, and she has a right to do what she 
will with her own. The Catholics of this country will tell 
you what I am telling you now. Go through Spain and France 
and Italy and show me a common school. You cannot find 


one. The genius of the Catholic Church is against the indis- 
criminate education of the common people, and of course as 
they propose to go off into their parochial schools, and 
gradually and peacefully withdraw, they do not now propose 
that we shall make any radical change to please them. They 
plainly tell us so. Suppose I come into your house and say, 
"I don't like the way you dress your child." "Well," you 
would say, "that is a curious criticism. I didn't ask you 
whether you were pleased or not." "Well," I say, "you 
must take that chain of gold off your child's neck, or I'll 
leave the house." Then you would say, "Leave." Now, the 
common -school system is a child of Protestantism. If any 
class of men shall come from any land, or from any form of 
religious belief, and say, "We don't like that chain of gold, 
the Word of God, around the neck of your common-school 
system," then we will say, "Well, then, you will have to go 
where you like it better." But you say, "That will involve 
the question of taxation, and there will be a demand for 
appropriations of money for Presbyterian schools, and then 
they will want appropriations made for Eoman Catholic 
schools, and this whole question of taxation will become in- 
volved, and disastrously so. I reply, without discussing that 
question, that better for us that all the school funds go away 
from us, and that our common schools be supported by the 
charities of the Christian Church, than that the Bible be cast 
out of the schools. 

I go further, and oppose this movement because the God 
of the Bible has had this land under His benediction, and 
He intends it to be a Bible-reading and God-fearing nation. 
He has plainly drawn a mark all around this nation, and 
said, in His Providence, "Wherever else they do not have the 
Bible, you shall have it here. Wherever else God is not 
honored, you shall honor Him here. " Look at the history of 
our nation. Do you notice at what point in the world's his- 
tory America was discovered? Why was not this land 



discovered ages before ? Civilized men would very much have 
liked to look upon it. There were adventurers who would 
have liked to have picked out this gem of the sea long before 
the time of Columbus and Vespucius. Ah! it was because 
the right kind of men to people this land had not been born. 
The fires in which they were to be purified were not yet 
kindled. When God had'created a stalwart race, and ordained 
them for the high work of settling this country, and laying 
the foundation of a higher style of civilization than the 
world had ever known, and they had started out on their 
embassy of light and freedom and religion, then God sud- 
denly dropped the veil from 
this continent, and there 
arose before the astonished 
vision of the people the 
splendors of this Western 
world. Then come on down 
from the discovery of Amer- 
ica to the Revolutionary war. 
God was as certainly in the 
lives of Washington and 
Lafayette and Marion and 
Kosciusco as He was in the 
lives of Moses and Daniel 
and Joshua. God was no 
more present at Megiddo 
and Jericho than at White 
Plains and Valley Forge, 
further in our history until the days which you remem- 
ber. The great question North, South, East and West 
was, "How shall we get rid of American slavery?" Some 
proposed one thing and others another. Some men said, 
"Steal the slave." That did not do. Some said, "Try 
moral suasion." That did not do. Some said, "Buy the 
bondmen out of their serfdom." That would not do. The 


Then come on down still 


more the question was discussed the less it came to an intel- 
ligent decision ; when the Lord rose up and said, "0, you 
men of the North and the South, you cannot settle that ques- 
tion. I will settle it. This is my nation. You want that 
cancer of slavery cut out and it shall be done." And then 
putting the sword of battle on one side of that black cancer, 
and the sword of battle on the other side of that black cancer, 
it dropped black and bleeding into hell. God has been with 
us all along, doing for us what the statesmen of the North 
and South could not achieve. 

The Hollanders and the Puritans and the Huguenots were 
men of the Bible, and they took possession of the land in the 
name of the God of the Bible. Now suppose I come into 
your house and say, "I don't like that book on your table." 
Suppose I come and sit at your banquet and say, "I don't 
like this article of food you set before me." You do not ask 
me to stay in the presence of the book or the banquet. And 
I am in favor of the largest liberty for any man who wants 
to withdraw from house or table or the common schools. Go 
to China or India or some other place where they have no 
Bible. Go there ; do not stand here, and with impertinent 
demand ask that we give up this glorious treasure which is 
the chief pride of our common schools. 

Secular education without religious education is worse 
than none. The President of the United States sent to 
Congress a paragraph in his Message which most of us ap- 
prove, and that is that there ought to be some education be- 
fore people are allowed to vote, and yet what does the capacity 
of a man to read amount to if he read bad books? What does 
a man's capacity to write amount to if he writes bad senti- 
ments. Better not be able to read or write at all. Knowl- 
edge is power for good if sanctified. Knowledge is power 
for evil if unsanctified. Robespierre and Rousseau and 
Byron were illustrations of what men with magnificent mental 
endowments will do when they have no moral restraint. 


Those men might better have been born and lived and died 
on the lowest round of ignorance than to have risen and 
cursed the world with their cruelties and nastiness. The 
youth of this country need something 
besides reading and writing and arith- 
metic, in order that they may be pre- 
pared for good citizenship. The great 
pest of this country to-day is the 
educated villains. They know enough. 
They know too much. They know 

There is no machine more useful 
than a locomotive. Here I see one I 
standing. Piston-rods, cranks, axles, ' 
cylinders, driving-wheels, throttle- ^ ===s= 
valve, all perfect. A good engineer Robespierre. 

gets on that locomotive, fastens it to a long train of cars, 
drags an immense value of freightage or life across the con- 
tinent. He does well. A reckless engineer comes up to that 
same locomotive, gets on it, and puts it at the rate of fifty 
miles an hour; comes near a dangerous curve, leaps off, 
while the train goes on into shrieking and death. That is 
just the difference between educated mind without moral 
principle, and educated mind with moral principle. In either 
case it is a powerful engine. In the one case it drags a loug 
line of good influences across the earth. In the other case 
Christian principle jumps off and moral restraint jumps off, 
leaving the train to go into terrific demolition. Ignorance is 
bad, but intelligence is worse, if immoral. Almost everybody 
talks about the days of Greece and Eome. They had so 
much intelligence, so many orators and painters, and poets 
and thinkers. No doubt about it. But how about the morals 
of Greece and Eome? Why is it that when a gentleman is 
traveling with his family in Europe, and he comes to the 
museums containing the relics of ancient art, that the janitor 


taps him on the shoulder and says, "Only gentlemen will pass 
in there." Why? It is because the paintings and the sculp- 
ture of ancient Greece and Rome were abhorrent to all decency, 
and splendid Corinth and magnificent Pompeii were worse 
than the Five Points in the worst days of the Five Points. 
Intelligence, art, eloquence, without the Christian religion, is 
defamation, ruin, disaster, woe. 

Protestants, the reason discussion of this subject ends in 
nothing in most cases is because we mix it up with the 
Roman Catholics. They are not opposed to the Bible in the 
schools. Why then bring them into the consideration? 
What do you make in the discussion of this subject by rous- 
ing the ire of the Roman Catholics? What has all the 
persecution against that Church in this country accomplished? 
They have four thousand churches; they have over fifty 
theological seminaries; they have over thirty colleges ; they 
have over four million members. "0!" says some person, 
" we shall have the auto-da-fe and the Inquisition in this 
country." I do not believe it. My confidence is in the Lord 
God Almighty, and in the moral education of the people. 
Let us stick to that, and not in any wise go around and dis- 
cuss questions that are irrelevant. Friends of the Bible, 
wake up! You are letting this question go by default. Some 
of the religious newspapers have gone over to the other side, 
and there are a great many ministers who are weak-kneed on 
this subject. Friends of God, speak out for King James's 
translation. If you love your Bible, stand by it. It is not 
much you have to do in this country for the maintenance 
of ' your religious faith. "0!" says some man, "you are all 
behind the time. We are in favor of progress. The Bible 
used to do very well in the schools, but we have progressed 
now beyond that." Yes, I am in favor of progress, but I do 
not believe in progress over a precipice. I say, let every 
other book go out of the common schools rather than this 
book. Let your arithmetics go. Our children can get along 


better without knowing how to count their earthly treasures 
than without this heavenly arithmetic which presents the 
figures of an eternal inheritance. Let your geographies go. 
Our children can get along without knowing the face of the 
earth rather than not knowing about the hills of light and 
the mountains of joy and the seas of glory that await the 
redeemed spirit. Let all the books on botany go. Our 
children can get along without knowing the nature of the 
plants and flowers of the earth better than to be ignorant of 
the eternal springtime of heaven. Let the public school 
teachers open the Bible with unusual earnestness. Bead the 
chapters that you can find most adapted to the youthful mind. 
Then join in prayer before God, and while the hands of sin 
and superstition are trying to pull down this Bible out of 
the common schools, and pull it down from other places, lift 
it high in the estimation of the children under your charge, 
and say, "0, how I love Thy law. It is my meditation ail 
the day." 

I want you to set me down as the sworn and uncom- 
promising friend of that dear old book. I should feel myself 
unworthy my ancestors, the Puritans and the Hollanders, 
many of whom died for their faith, yea, I should expect to be 
found friendless at the judgment seat of Christ if in the hour, 
when the Bible is on trial, I should prove recreant. It will be 
a sweet consolation when we come to die, if we can feel then 
that we never did one thing to injure the influence of that 
old book. That dying hor.r may be a time of poverty and 
cruelty to us, and the pillow may be jerked out from under 
our head. But that man sleeps well the last sleep who has 
this book for his pillow. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, 
from everlasting to everlasting, and let the whole earth be 
filled with His glory. Amen, and amen! 


"what of our children?" 

Judah, when describing the tenderness and affection which 
Jacob felt toward Benjamin, the youngest son of that patri- 
archal family, said: "His life is bound up in the lad's life,'" 
but they are words just as appropriate to many another 
parent. I have known parents that seemed to have but little 
iDterest in their children. A father says : "My son must look 
out for himself. If he comes up weti, all right; if he turns 
out badly, I cannot help it. I am not responsible for his 
behavior. He must take the same risk in life that I took." 
As well might the shepherd throw a lamb into a den of lions, 
and then say: "Little lamb, look out for yourself." 

It is generally the case that even the beast looks after its 
young. I have gone through the woods on a summer's day, 
and I have heard a great outcry in a bird's nest, and I have 
climbed up to see what was the matter. I found out that the 
birds were starving and that the mother bird had gone off, 
not to come back again. But that is an exception. It is 
generally the case that the old bird will pick your eyes out 
rather than let you come nigh its brood. The lion will rend 
you in twain if you approach too nearly the whelps ; the fowl 
in the barn-yard, clumsy-footed and heavy- winged, flies 
fiercely at you if you come too near the little group, and God 
intended every father and mother to be the protection and the 
help of the child. Jesus comes into every dwelling and says 
to the father or mother: "You have been looking after this 
child's body and mind; the time has come when you ought 
to be looking after its immortal soul." "What is to become 



- ■ 'is ,i/ ■ . " ! 



of the child? What will be its history? Will it choose 
paths of virtue or vice? Will it accept Christ or reject him? 
Where will it spend eternity?" 

I read of a vessel that foundered. The boats were 
launched; many of the passengers were struggling in the 
water. A mother with one hand beat the waves, and with 
the other hand lifted up her little child toward the life-boat 
crying: "Save my child! Save my child!" The impassioned 
outcry of that mother is the prayer of many hundreds of 
Christian people. 

The first cause of parental anxiety is the inefficiency and 
imperfection of parents themselves. We have a slight hope, 
all of us, that our children may escape our faults. We hide 
our imperfections, and think they will steer clear of them. 
Alas, there is a poor prospect of that. There is more proba- 
bility that they will choose our vices than choose our virtues. 
There is something like sacredness in parental imperfections 
when the child looks upon them. The folly of the parents 
is not so repulsive when the child looks at it. He says: 
"Father indulges in it; mother indulges in it; it can't be so 
bad." Your boy, ten years of age, goes up a back street 
smoking his cigar — an old stump that he found in the street — 
and a neighbor accosts him and says: "What are you doing 
this for? What would your father say if he knew it?" The 
boy says: "0, father does that himself!" There is not one 
that would deliberately choose that his children should, in all 
things, follow his example, and it is the consciousness of 
imperfection on our part as parents that makes us most 
anxious for our children." We are also distressed on account 
of the unwisdom of our discipline and instruction. It 
requires a great deal of ingenuity to build a house or fashion 
a ship; but more ingenuity to build the temple of a child's 
character, and launch it on the great ocean of time and 
eternity. Where there is one that seems qualified for the 
work, there seems to be twenty parents who miserably fail. 


Here i s a father who says : "My child shall know nothing 
but religion; he shall see nothing but religion." The boy is 
aroused at 6 o'clock in the morning to recite the Ten Com- 
mandments. He is awakened off the sofa on Sunday night 
to see how much he knows of the Westminster Catechism. 
It is religion morning, noon and night. Passages of Scrip- 
ture are plastered on the bed-room wall. He looks for the 
day of the month in a religious almanac. Every minister 
that comes to the house is told to take the boy aside and talk 
to him and tell him what a great sinner he is. After a while 
the boy comes to that period of life when he is too old for 
chastisement, and too young to know and feel the force of 
moral principle. Father and mother are sitting up for the 
boy to come home. It is 9 o'clock at night— 10 o'clock — it 
is 12 o'clock — it is 12.30, and they hear the night key jingle 
in the door. They say he is coming. George goes very 
softly through the hall, hoping to get upstairs before he is 
accosted. The father says : "George, where have you been?" 
"Been out!" Yes, he has been out, and he has been down, 
and he is on the broad road to destruction, for this life and 
the life to come. Father says: "There is no use in the Ten 
Commandments ; the Catechism seems to me to be an utter 
failure." Ah, my friend, you make a very great mistake. 
You stuffed that child with religion until he could not digest 
it; you made that which is a joy in many households an 
abhorrence in yours. A man in mid-life said to me : "I can't 
become a Christian. In my father's house I got such a 
prejudice against religion I don't want any of it. My father 
was one of the best men that ever lived, but he had such 
severe notions about things, and he jammed religion down 
my throat, until I don't want any of it, sir." There have 
been some who have erred in that direction. 

There are households where mother pulls one way and 
father pulls the other. Father says: "My son, I told you 
the first time I caught you in a falsehood I would chastise 

"what of our children?" 


you, and now I am going to do it." Mother says: "Don't, 
let him off this time." In some families it is all scolding and 
fretf ulness with the child; from Monday morning to Satur- 
day night it is that style of culture. The boy is picked at, 
and picked at, and picked at. Now you might better give 
one sound chastisement and have done with it, than to 
indulge in the perpetual scolding and fretfulness. There is 
more health in one good thunderstorm than in three or four 


days of cold drizzle. Here is a parent who says : "I will not 
err on the side that parent has erred, in being too strict with 
his children. I will let mine do as they please. If they 
want to come in to prayers, they can; if they want to play at 
cards, they can; they can do anything they please — there 
shall be no hindrance. Go it! Here are tickets for the 


opera and theater, son. Take your friends with you. Do 
whatever you desire." One day a gentleman comes in 
from the bank to his father's office and says: "They want to 
see you at the bank a minute." Father goes into the bank. 
The cashier says: "Is that your check? " Father looks at it 
and says: "No, I never gave that check; I never cross a 't' 
in that way; I never make the curl to a 'y' in that way. It 
is not my check; that's a forgery. Send for the police!" 

"Ah," says the cashier, "don't be so quick; your son did 
that!" The fact was that the boy had been out in dissipat- 
ing circles, and ten dollars and fifty dollars went in that 
direction, and he had been treated and he had to treat 
others, and the boy felt he must have five hundred dollars to 
keep himself in that circle. That night the father sits up for 
the son to come home. It is 1 o'clock before he comes into 
the hall. He comes in very much flushed, his eye glaring 
and his breath offensive. Father says: "My son, how can 
you do so? I have given you everything you wanted and 
everything to make you comfqrtable and happy, and now I 
find, in my old age, that you are a spendthrift, a libertine 
and a drunkard." The son says: "Now, father, what's the 
use of your talking in that way? You told me I might have 
a good time, and to go it. I have been acting on your sug- 
gestion, Jiat's all." 

And so one parent errs on one side, and another parent 
errs on the other, and how to strike a happy medium between 
severity and too great leniency, and train our sons and 
daughters for usefulness on earth and bliss in heaven, is a 
question which agitates every Christian household. Where 
so many good men and women have failed, is it strange that 
we should sometimes doubt the propriety of our theory and 
the accuracy of our kind of government? 

Parental anxiety often arises from an early exhibition of 
sinfulness in the child. The morning-glories bloom for a 
little while under the sun, and then they shut up as the heat 


comes on ; but there are flowers along the Amazon that blaze 
their beauty for weeks at a time ; but the short-lived morn- 
ing glory fulfills its mission as well as the Victoria Regia. 
There are some people who take forty, fifty or sixty years to 
develop. Then there are little children who fling their 
beauty on the vision and vanish. They are morning-glories 
that can not stand the glare of the hot noon sun of trial. 
You have all known such little children. They were pale; 
they were ethereal ; there was something very wonderfully 
deep in the eye; they had a gentle foot and soft hand, and 
something almost supernatural in their behavior — ready to 
be wafted away. You had such a one in your household. 
Gone now! It was too delicate a plant for this rough world. 
The heavenly gardener saw it and took it in. We make 
splendid Sunday-school books out of such children, but they 
almost always die. I have noticed, that for the most part 
the children that live sometimes get cross, and pick up bad 
words in the street, and quarrel with brother and sister, and 
prove unmistakably that they are wicked — as the Bible says, 
going astray from the womb, speaking lies. Bee the little 
ones in the Sabbath class, so sunshiny and beautiful, you 
would think they were always so, but mother, seated a little 
way off, looks over at these children and thinks of the awful 
time she had to get them ready. After the boy or girl comes 
a little further on in life, the mark of sin upon them is still 
more evident. The son comes in from a pugilistic encounter 
in the streets, bearing the marks of a defeat. The daughter 
practices positive deception, and the parent says: "What 
shall I do? I can't always be correcting and scolding, and 
yet these things must be stopped." It is especially sad if 
the parent sees his own faults copied by the child. It is a 
very hard work to pull up a nettle that we ourselves planted. 
We remember that the greatest frauds that ever shook the 
banking-houses of the country started from a boy's deception 
a good many years ago; and the gleaming blade of the mur- 


derer is only another blade of the knife with which the boy 
struck at his comrade. The cedar of Lebanon, that wrestles, 
With the blast, started from seed lodged in the side of the 
mountain, and the most tremendous dishonesties of the 
World once toddled out from the cradle. All these things 
toake parents anxious. 

Anxiety on the part of parents also arises from the con- 
sciousness that there are so many temptations thrown all 
around our young people. It may be almost impossible to 
take a castle by siege — straightforward siege— but suppose in 
the night there is a traitor within, and he goes down and 
draws the bolt and swings open the great door, and then the 
castle falls immediately. That is the trouble with the hearts 
of the young; they have foes without and foes within. 
There are a great many who try to make our young people 
believe that it is a sign of weakness to be pure. The man 
will toss his head and take dramatic attitudes and tell of his 
own indiscretions, and ask the young man if he would not 
like to do the same. And they call him verdant, and they 
say he is green and unsophisticated, and wonder how he can 
bear the Puritanical straight-jacket. They tell him he ought 
to break from his mother's apron strings, and they say: "I 
will show you all about town. Come with me. You ought 
to see the world. It won't hurt you. Do as you please; it 
will be the making of you." After awhile the young man 
says: "I don't want to be odd. nor can I afford to sacrifice 
these friends, and I'll go and see for myself." From the 
gates of hell there goes a shout of victory. Farewell to all 
innocence — farewell to all early restraints favorable to that 
innocence which, once gone, never comes back. I heard one 
of the best men I ever knew, seventy-five years of age, say: 
"Sir, God has forgiven me for all the sins of my lifetime. I 
know that; but there is one sin I committed at twenty years 
of age that I never will forgive myself for. It sometimes 
comes over me overwhelmingly, and it absolutely blots out 


my hope of heaven." Young man, hear it. How many 
traps there are set for our young people! That is what 
makes parents so anxious. Here are temptations for every 
form of dissipation and every stage of it. The young man, 
when he first goes into dissipation, is very particular where 
he goes. It must be a fashionable hotel. He could not be 
tempted into these corner nuisances, with red-stained glass 
and a mug of beer painted on the sign-board. You ask the 
young man to go into that place and he would say: "Do 
you mean to insult me?" No; it must be a marble-floored 
bar-room. There must be no lustful pictures behind the 
counter; there must be no drunkard hiccoughing while he 
takes his glass It must be a place where elegant gentle- 
men come in and click their cut-glass and drink to the 
announcement of nattering sentiment. But the young man 
can not always find that kind of a place; yet he has a thirst 
and it must be gratified. The down-grade is steeper now, 
and he is almost at the bottom. Here they sit in an oyster 
cellar around a card table, wheezing, bloated and bloodshot, 
with cards so greasy you can hardly tell who has the best 
hand. But never mind; they are only playing for drink. 
Shuffle away! shuffle away! The landlord stands in his 
shirt- sleeves, with hands on his hips, watching the game and 
waiting for another call to fill up the glasses. It is the hot 
breath of eternal woe that flushes that young man's cheek. 
In tbe jets of gaslight I see the shooting out of the fiery 
tongue of the worm that never dies. The clock strikes 
twelve ; it is the tolling of the bell of eternity at the burial 
of a soul. Two hours pass on and they are all sound asleep 
in their chairs. Landlord says: "Come, now, wake up; 
it's time to shut up. " They look up and say : "What?" "It's 
time to shut up." Push them out into the air. They are 
going home. Let the wife crouch in the corner, and the 
children hide under the bed. They are going home ! What 
is the history of that young man? He began his dissipation 


at a fashionable hotel, and completed his damnation in the 
worst of grog-shops. 

But sin even does not stop here. It comes to the door of 
the drawing-room. There are men of leprous hearts that go 
into the very best classes of society. They are so fascina- 
ting — they have such a bewitching way of offering their arm. 
Yet the poison of asps is under the tongue, and their heart 
is hell. At first their sinful devices are hidden, but after 
awhile they begin to put forth their talons of death. Now 
they begin to show really what they are. Suddenly — 
although you could not have expected it, they were so charm- 
ing in their manner, so fascinating in their address— sud- 
denly a cloud, blacker than was ever woven of midnight or 
hurricane, drops upon some domestic circle. There is agony 
in the parental bosom that none but the Lord God Almighty 
can measure — an agony that wishes that the children of the 
household had been swallowed by the grave, when it would 
be only a loss of body instead of a loss of soul. What is 
the matter with that household? They have not had the 
front windows open in six months or a year. The mother's 
hair suddenly turned white; father, hollow- cheeked and bent 
over prematurely, goes down the street. There has been no 
death in that family — no loss of property. Has madness 
seized upon them? No! no! A villain, kid-gloved, patent- 
leathered, with gold chain and graceful manner, took that 
cup of domestic bliss, elevated it high in the air until the 
sunlight struck it, and all the rainbows danced about the 
brim, and then dashed it down in desolation and woe, until 
all the harpies of darkness clapped their hands with glee, 
and all the voices of hell uttered a loud ha! ha! Oh, there 
are scores and hundreds of homes that have been blasted, 
and if the awful statistics could be fully set before you, your 
blood would freeze into a solid cake of ice at the heart. Do 
you wonder that fathers and mothers are anxious about their 
children, and that they ask themselves the questions day and 



night : What is to become of them ? What will be their 

Let me tell you, parents, that a great deal of anxiety will 
be lifted if you will begin early with your children. Tom 
Paine said : " The first five years of my life I became an 
infidel." A vessel 
goes out to sea; it 
has been five days 
out. A storm comes 
on it; it springs a 
leak; the helm will 
not work ; every- 
thing is out of or- 
der. What is the 
matter? The ship is 
not sea-worthy, and 
never was. It is a 
poor time to find it 
out noAV. Under the 
fury of the storm 
the vessel goes 
down, with two 
hundred and fifty 
passengers, to a watery grave, 
sea-worthy was in the dry dock, before it started. Alas 
for us, if we wait until our children get out into the 
world before we try to bring upon them the influences 
of Christ's religion! I tell you the dry dock of the 
Christian home is the place where we are to fit them 
for usefulness and for heaven. In this world, under 
the storm of vice and temptation, it will be too late. 
In the domestic circle you decide whether your child 
shall be truthful or false — whether it shall be generous or 
penurious. You can tell by the way a child divides an apple 
just what its future history will be. You ought to oversee 


The time to make the ship 


the process. If the child take nine-tenths of the apple, giv- 
ing the other tenth to his sister, if he should live to be one 
hundred he will be grasping and want the biggest piece of 
everything. I stood in a house in one of the Long Island 
villages, and I saw a beautiful tree, and I said to the owner : 
"That is a very fine tree, but what a curious crook there is in 
it?" "Yes," said he, "I planted that tree, and when it was 
a year old I went to New York and worked as a mechanic 
for a year or two, and when I came back I found that they 
had allowed something to stand against the tree; so it has 
always had that crook." And so I thought it was with the 
influence upon children. If you allow anything to stand in 
the way of moral influences against a child on this side or 
that side, to the latest day of its life on earth and through 
all eternity it will show the pressure. No wonder Lord 
Byron was bad. Do you know his mother said to him when 
she saw him one day limping across the floor with his un- 
sound foot. " Get out of my way, you lame brat ! " What 
chance for a boy like that? 

Two young men come to the door of sin. They consult 
whether they will go in. The one young man goes in and 
the other retreats. "Oh," you say, "the last had better 
resolution." No, that was not it. The first young man had 
no early good influence; the last had been piously trained, 
and when he stood at the door of sin discussing the matter 
he looked around as if to see some one, and he felt an invisi- 
ble hand on his shoulder, saying: "Don't go in! don't go 
in!" Whose hand was it? A mother's hand, fifteen years 
ago gone to dust. A gentleman was telling me of the fact 
that some years ago there were two young men who stopped 
at the door of the Park Theater, in New York. The question 
was whether they should go in. That night there was to be 
a very immoral play enacted in the Park Theater. One man 
went in; the other staid out. The young man who went in 
went on from sin to sin, and through a crowd of iniquities, 


and died in the hospital of delirium tremens. The other 
young man who retreated chose Christ, went into the gospel, 
and is now one of the most eminent ministers of Christ in 
this country. And the man who retreated gave as his reason 
for turning hack from the Park Theater that night, that there 
was an early voice within him, saying: "Don't go in! don't 
go in!" And for that reason, my readers, I believe so much 
in Bible classes. But there is something better than the 
Bible class, and that is the Sunday-school class. I like it 
because it takes children at an earlier point ; and the infant 
class I like still better, because it takes children before they 
begin to walk or to talk straight and puts them on the road 
to heaven. You can not begin too early. You stand on the 
bank of a river flowing by. You can not stop that river, but 
you travel days and days toward the source of it, and you 
find after awhile where it comes down dropping from the 
rock, and with your knife you make a course in this or that 
direction for the dropping to take, and you decide the course 
of the river. You stand and see your children's character 
rolling on with great impetuosity and passion, and you can- 
not affect them. Go up toward the source where the charac- 
ter first starts, and decide that it shall take the right direc- 
tion, and it will follow the path you give it. 

But I want you to remember, father ! mother ! that it 
is what you do that is going to affect your children, and not 
what you say. You tell your children to become Christians, 
while you are not, and they will not. Do you think Noah's 
family would have gone into the ark if he had not gone in ? 
They would say: "No, there is something about that boat 
that is not right; father has not gone in." You can not 
push children into the kingdom of God ; you have got to 
pull them in. There has been many a General in a tower 
or castle looking at his army fighting, biit that is not the 
kind of a man to arouse enthusiasm among his troops. It is 
a Garibaldi or Napoleon I., who leaps into the stirrups, and 


dashes into the conflict, and has his troops following him 
with wild huzzas. So you can not stand off in your impen- 
itent state and tell your children to go ahead into the Chris- 
tian life and have them go. You must yourself dash into the 
Christian conflict; you must lead them and not tell them to 
go. Do you know that all the instructions you give to your 
children in a religious direction goes for nothing unless you 
illustrate it in your own life? The teacher at the school 
takes a copybook, writes a specimen of good writing across 
the top of the page, but he makes a mistake in one letter of 
the copy. The boy comes along on the next line, copies the 
top line, and makes the mistake, and if there be fifteen lines 
on that page they will have the mistake there was in the copy 
on the top. The father has an error in his life — a very 
great error. The son comes along and copies it now, to- 
morrow, next year, copies it to the day of his death. It is 
what you are, not so much what you teach. Have a family 
altar. Let it be a cheerful place, the brightest room in your 
house. Do not wear your children's knees out with long 
prayers. Have the whole exercise spirited. If you have a 
melodeon, or an organ, or a piano in the house, have it open. 
Then lead in prayers. If you cannot make a prayer of your 
own, take Matthew Henry's Prayers, or the Episcopal Prayer 
Book. None better than that. Kneel down with your little 
ones morning and night, and commend them to God. Do 
you think they will ever get over it? Never! After you are 
under the sod a good many years there will be some powerful 
temptation around that son, but the memory of father and 
mother at morning and evening prayers will have its effect 
upon him ; it will bring him back from the path of sin and 
death. But I want you to make a strict mark, a sharp, plain 
line between innocent hilarity on the part of your children 
and a vicious proclivity. Do not think your boys will go to 
ruin because they make a racket. A glum, unresponsive; 
child makes the worst form of a villain. Children, when 


they arc healthy, always make a racket. I want you, at the 
very first sign of depravity in the child, to correct it. Do not 
laugh because it is smart. If you do you will live to cry 
because it is malicious. Do not talk of your children's frail- 
ties lightly in their presence, thinking they do not under- 
stand you; they do understand. Do not talk disparagingly 
of your child, making him feel that he is a reprobate. Do 
not say to your little one: "You're the worst child I ever 
knew." If you do, he will be the worst man you ever knew. 

Are your children safe for heaven ? You can tell better 
than any one else. I put you the question : "Are your chil- 
dren safe for heaven?" I heard of a mother who, when the 
house was afire, in the excitement of the occasion, got out a 
great many of the valuable things — many choice articles of 
furniture — but did not think to ask until too late: "Is my 
child safe?" It was too late then. The flames had encircled 
all; the child was gone! Oh, my dear reader, when sea and 
land shall burn in the final conflagration, will your children 
be safe? 

I wonder if what I have written will not strike a chord in 
some one who had a good father and mother, but is not yet 
a Christian? 

God wants you to have that memory revived. Your dear, 
Christian mother, how she loved you ! You remember when 
you were sick how kindly she attended you ; the night was 
not too long, and you never asked her to turn the pillow but 
she did it. You remember her prayers, also; you remember 
how you broke your mother's heart. You remember her 
sorrow over your waywardness; you remember the old place 
where she did you so many kindnesses ; tbe chairs, the table, 
the door-sill where you played, the tones of her voice. Why, 
you can think them back now. Though they were borne 
long ago on the air, they come ringing through your soul to- 
day, calling you by tbe first name. You are not "Mr." to 
her; it is just your plain first name. Is not this the time 

466 "what of our children?" 

when her prayers will be answered? If you should come to 
Christ now, amid all the throngs of heaven the gladdest of 
them would be your Christian parents, who are in glory 
waiting for your redemption. Angels of God, shout the tid- 
ings, the lost has come back again; the dead is alive! Eing 
all the bells of heaven at the jubilee! 



While yet people thought that the world was flat, and thou- 
sands of years before they found out that it was round, Isaiah 
intimated the shape of it, God sitting upon the circle of the 
earth. The most beautiful figure in all geometry is the cir- 
cle. God made the universe on the plan of a circle. There 
are in the natural world straight lines, angles, parallelograms, 
diagonals, quadrangles; but these evidently are not God's 
favorites. Almost everywhere where you find him geome- 
trizing you find the circle dominant, and if not the circle 
then the curve, which is a circle that died young. If it had 
lived long enough it would have been a full orb, a periphery. 
An ellipse is a circle pressed only a little too hard at the 
sides. Giant's Causeway in Ireland shows what God thinks 
of mathematics. There are many thousand columns of 
rocks — octagonal, hexagonal, pentagonal. These rocks seem 
to have been made by rule and by compass. Every artist 
has his molding-room where he may make fifty sbapes, but 
he chooses one shape as preferable to all tbe others. I will 
not say that the Giant's Causeway was the world's molding- 
room, but. I do say out of a great many figures God seems 
to have selected the circle as the best. The stars in a 
circle, the moon in a circle, tbe sun in a circle, the universe 
in a circle, and the throne of God the center of that circle. 

When men build churches they ought to imitate the idea 
of the great Architect and put the audience in a circle, know- 
ing that the tides of emotion roll more easily that way than 
in straight lines. Six thousand years ago God flung this 
world out of his right hand ; but he did not throw it out in a 




straight line but curvilinear, with a lease of love holding it 
so as to bring it back again. The world started from his 
hand pure and Edenic. It has been rolling on through 
regions of moral ice and distemper. How long it will roll 


God only knows ; but it will in due time make a complete 
circuit and come back to the place where it started— th* 
hand of God, pure and Edenic. 

The history of the world goes in a circle. Why is it the 
shipping in our day is improving so rapidly ? It is because men 


are imitating the old model of Noah's ark. A ship carpenter 
gives that as his opinion. Although so much derided by small 
wits that ship of Noah's time beat the Etruria and the Ger- 
manic, of which we boast so much. Where is the ship on the 
sea to-day that could outride a deluge in which the heaven and 
the earth were wrecked, landing all the passengers in safety, 
two of each kind of living creatures, thousands of species. 
Pomology will go on with its achievements until after many 
centuries the world will have plums and pears equal to the 
Paradisaical. The art of gardening will grow for centuries, 
and after the Downings and Mitchells of the world have 
done their best, in the far future the art of gardening will 
come up to the arborescence of the year 1. If the makers of 
colored glass go on improving they may in some centuries 
be able to make something equal to the east window of 
York Minster, which was built in 1290. We are six centu- 
ries behind those artists, but the world must keep on toiling 
until it has made the complete circuit and come up to the 
skill of those very men. If the world continues to improve 
in masonry we shall have after a while, perhaps after the 
advance of centuries, mortar equal to that which I saw in 
the wall of an exhumed English city, built in the time of the 
Romans, 1,600 years ago— that mortar to-day is as good as 
the day in which it was made, having outlasted the brick 
and the stone. I say, after hundreds of years, masonry may 
advance to that point. If the world stands long enough we 
may have a city as large as they had in old times. Babylon, 
five times the size of London. You go into the potteries of 
England and you find them making cups and vases after the 
style of the cups and vases exhumed from Pompeii. The 
world is not going back. Oh, no! but it is swinging in a cir- 
cle-arid will come back to the styles of pottery known so long 
ago as the days of Pompeii. The world must keep on pro- 
gressing until it makes the complete circuit. The curve is in 
the right direction. The curve will keep on until it becomes 
a circle. 


What is true in the material universe is true in God's 
moral government and spiritual arrangement. That is the 
meaning of Ezekiel's wheel. All commentators agree in say- 
ing that the wheel means God's providence. But a wheel is 
of no use unless it turn, and if it turn it turns around, and 
if it turn around it moves in a circle. What then? Are we 
parts of a great iron machine whirled around whether we 
will or not, the victims of inexorable fate? No! So far 
from that I shall show you that we ourselves start the circle 
of good or bad actions, and that it will surely come around to 
us, unless by divine intervention it be hindered. Those bad 
or good actions may make the circuit of many years; but 
come back to us they will as certainly as that God sits on 
the circle of the earth. Jezebel, the worst woman of the 
Bible, slew Naboth because she wanted his vineyard. While 
the dogs were eating the body of Naboth, Elisha, the prophet, 
put down his compass and marked a circle from those dogs 
clear around to the dogs that should eat the body of Jezebel, 
the murderess. "Impossible," the people said, "that will 
never happen." Who is that being flung out of the palace 
window? Jezebel. A few hours after they came around, 
hoping to bury her. They find only the palms of her hands 
and the skull. The dogs that devoured Jezebel, and the dogs 
that devoured Naboth! Oh, what a swift, what an awful cir- 

But it is sometimes the case that this circle sweeps 
through a century, or through many centuries. The world 
started as a theocracy for government; that is, God was Pres- 
ident and Emperor of the world. People got tired of a the- 
ocracy. They said: "We don't want God directly interfering 
with the affairs of the world; give us a monarchy." The 
world had a monarchy. From a monarchy it is going to 
have a limited monarchy. After awhile the limited mon- 
archy will be given up, and the republican form of govern- 
ment will be everywhere dominant and recognized. Then 


the world will get tired of the republican form of govern- 
ment, and it will have an anarchy, which is no government 
at all. And then, all nations finding out that man is not cap- 
able of righteously governing man, will cry out again for a 
theocracy and say: "Let God come back and conduct the 
affairs of the world." Every step — monarchy, limited mon- 
archy, republicanism, anarchy, only different steps between 
the first theocracy and the last theocracy, or segments of the 
great circle of the earth on which God sits. 

But do not become impatient because you can not see the 
curve of events, and therefore conclude that God's govern- 
ment is going to break down. History tells us that in the 
making of the pyramids it took two thousand men two years 
to drag one great stone from the quarry and put it into the 
pyramids. Well, now, if men, short-lived can afford to work 
so slowly as that, can not God in the building of the eterni- 
ties afford to wait? What though God should take ten 
thousand years to draw a circle? Shall we take our little 
watch, which we have to wind up every night lest it run 
down, and hold it up beside the clock of eternal ages? If, 
according to the Bible, 1,000 years are in God's sight as a 
day, then according to that calculation, the 6,000 years of 
the world's existence has been only to God as from Monday 
to Saturday. 

But it is often the case that the rebound is quicker, and 
the circle is sooner completed. You resolve that you will do 
what good you can. In one week you put a word of counsel 
in the heart of a Sabbath-school child. During that same 
week you give a letter of introduction to a young man strug- 
gling in business. During the same week you made an ex- 
hortation in a prayer meeting. It is all gone; you will never 
hear of it perhaps, you think. A few years after a man 
comes to you and says: "You don't know me, do you?" 
You say, " No, I don't remember ever to have seen you." 
"Why," he says, "I was in the Sabbath-school class of 


which you were the teacher. One Sunday you invited me to 
Christ. I accepted the offer. You see that church with two 
towers yonder?" " Yes," you say. He says, " That is where 
I preach." Or, " Do you see that Governor's house? That 
is where I live." One day a man comes to you and 
says, " Good morning." You look at him and say, "Why, 
you have the advantage of me; I can not place you. " He 
says, " Don't you remember, thirty years ago giving a letter 
of introduction to a young man — a letter of introduction to 
a prominent merchant? " " Yes, I do." He says, "I am 
the man. That was my first step toward a fortune; but I 
have retired from business now, and am giving my time to 
philanthropies and public interests. Come up to my country 
place and see me." Or a man comes to you and says, "I 
want to introduce myself to you. I went into a prayer-meet- 
ing some years ago. I sat back near the door. You arose 
to make an exhortation. That talk changed the course of 
my life, and if I ever get to heaven, I will owe my salvation 
to you." In only ten, twenty, or thirty years, the circle 
swept out and swept back again to your own grateful heart. 

But sometimes it is a wider circle and does not return for 
a great while. I saw a bill of expenses for burning Latimer 
and Kidley. The bill of expenses says : One load of fir fag- 
ots, 3s 4d; cartage of four loads of wood, 2s; a post, Is 4d; 
two chains, 3s 4d; two staples, 6d; four laborers, 2s 8d; 
total of 12s 6d. That was a cheap fire considering all the 
circumstances; but it kindled a light which shone all around 
the world and around the martyr spirit ; and out from that 
burning rolled the circle, wider and wider, starting other cir- 
cles, convoluting, overrunning, circumscribing, overarching 
all heaven. 

But what is true of the good is just us true of the bad. 
You utter a slander against your neighbor. It has gone 
forth from your teeth. It will never come back, you think. 
You have done the man all the mischief you can. You re- 


joice to see him wince. You say, " Didn't I give it to him? " 
That word has gone out, that slanderous word, on its poison- 
ous and blasted way. You think it will never do you any 
harm. But I am watching that word, and I see it beginning 
to curve, and it curves around, and it is aiming at your heart. 
You had better dodge it. You can not dodge it. It rolls 
into your bosom, and after it rolls irj a word of an old book, 
which says : " With what measure ye mete, it shall be meas- 
ured to you again." 

You maltreat an aged parent. You begrudge him the 
room in your house. You are impatient of his whimsical- 
ities and garrulity. It makes you mad to hear him tell the 
same story twice. You give him food he can not masticate. 
You wish he was away. You wonder if he is going to live 
forever. He will be gone very soon. His steps are shorter 
and shorter. He is going to stop. But Qod has an account 
to settle with you on that subject. After awhile your eye 
will be dim and your gait will halt, and the sound of the 
grinding will be slow, and you will tell the same story twice, 
and your children will wonder if you are going to live for- 
ever, and wonder if you will never be taken away. They 
called you " father " once; now they call you " the old man." 
If you live a few years longer they will call you " the old 
chap." "What are those rough words with which your chil- 
dren are accosting you ! They are the echo of the very words 
you used in the ear of your old father forty years ago. What 
is that which you are trying to chew, but find it unmastica- 
ble, and your jaws ache as you surrender the attempt? Per- 
haps it may be the gristle which you gave to your father for 
his breakfast forty years ago. A gentleman passing along 
the street saw a son dragging his father into the street by the 
hair of his head. The gentleman, outraged at this brutal 
conduct, was about to punish the offender, when the old man 
arose and said: " Don't hurt him; its all right; forty years 
ago this morning I dragged out my father by the hair of his 



head." Other sins may he adjourned to the next world, but 
maltreatment of parents is punished in this. 

The circle turns quickly, very quickly. Oh, what a stu- 
pendous thought that the good and the evil we start come 
hack to us ! Do you know that the judgment day will he only 
the point at which the circle joins — the good and the bad we 
have done coming back to us, unless divine intervention hin- 
ders — coming back to us, welcome of delight or curse of con- 
demnation? Oh, I would like to see Paul, the invalid 
missionary, at the moment when his influence comes to full 
orb — his influence rolling out through Antioch, through 
Cyprus, through Lystra, through Corinth, through Athens, 
through Asia, through Europe, through America, through 

the first century, 
through five cent- 
uries, through 
twenty centuries, 
through all the 
succeeding cen- 
turies, through 
earth, through 
heaven, and, at 
last, the wave of 
influence having 
made full circuit, 
strikes his great 
soul! Oh, then I 
would like to see 
n'm ! No one can 
tell the wide 
sweep of the circle 
of his influence, 

save the One who 
voltaike. ig seated on t he 

circle of the earth. I should not want to see the coimte- 


But what about the moral woes of the world, that have 
rocked all nations, and for six thousand years science pro- 
poses nothing but knowledge, and many people that know 
the most are the most uncomforted. In the way of practical 
relief for all disadvantages and all woes, the only voice that 
is worth listening to on this subject is tbe voice of Chris- 
tianity, which is the voice of Almighty God. Whether I 
have mentioned the particular disadvantage under which you 
labor or not, I distinctly declare, in the name of my God, 
that there is a way out and a way up for all of you. You 
can not be any worse off than that Christian young woman 
who was in the Pemberton mills when they fell some years 
ago, and from under the fallen timbers she was heard sing- 
ing, I am going home to die no more. 

Take good courage from that Bible, all of whose promises 
are for those in bad predicament. There are better days for 
you, either on earth or in heaven. I put my hand under your 
chin and lift your face into the light of the coming dawn. 
Have God on your side, and then you have for reserve troops 
all the armies of heaven, the smallest company of which is 
twenty thousand chariots, and the smallest battalion one 
hundred and forty- four thousand, the lightnings of heaven 
their drawn swords. An ancient warrior saw an overpower- 
ing host come down upon his small company of armed men, 
and, mounting his horse with a handful of sand, he threw it 
in the air, crying : "Let their faces be covered with confusion !' s 
And both armies heard his voice, and history says it seemed 
as though the dust thrown in the air had become so many 
angels of supernatural deliverance, and the weak overcome 
the mighty, and the immense host fell back, and the small 
number marched on. Have faith in God, and though all the 
allied forces of discouragement seem to come against you in 
battle array, and their laugh of defiance and contempt 
resounds through all the valleys and mountains, you might 
by faith in God and importunate prayer pick up a handful 


of the very dust of your humiliation and throw it into the 
air, and it shall become angels of victory over all the armies 
of earth and hell. The voices of your adversaries, human 
and satanic, shall be covered with confusion, while you shall 
be not only conqueror, but more than conqueror, through that 
grace which has so often made the fallen helmet of an over- 
thrown antagonist the footstool of a Christian victory. 



In the greatest sermon ever preached — a sermon about 
fifteen minutes long according to the ordinary rate of speech — 
a sermon on the Mount of Olives, the preacher sitting while 
he spoke, according to the ancient mode of oratory, the peo- 
ple were given to understand that the same yard-stick that 
they employed upon others would be employed upon them- 
selves. Measure others by a harsh rule, and you will be 
measured by a harsh rule. Measure others by a charitable 
rule and you will be measured by a charitable rule. Give no 
mercy to others, and no mercy will be given to you. "With 
what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again." 
There is a great deal of unfairness in the criticism of human 
conduct. It was to smite that unfairness that Christ uttered 
these words and I wish to re-echo the divine sentiment. In 
estimating the misbehavior of others we must take into con- 
sideration the pressure of circumstances. It is never right 
to do wrong, but there are degrees of culpability. When 
men misbehave or commit some atrocious wickedness we are 
disposed indiscriminately to tumble them all over the bank 
of condemnation. Suffer they ought and suffer they must, 
but in difference of degree. 

In the first place, in estimating the misdoing of others, 
we must take into calculation the hereditary tendency. There 
is such a thing as good blood, and there is such a thing as 
bad blood. There are families that have had a moral twist 
in them for one hundred years back. They have not been 
careful to keep the family record in that regard. There have 



been escapades and maraudings, and scoundrelisms and 
moral deficits all the way back, whether you call it klepto- 
mania, or pyromania, or dipsomania, or whether it be in a 
milder form and amount to no mania at all. The strong 
probability is that the present criminal started life with nerve, 
muscle and bone contaminated. As some start life with a 
natural tendency to nobility and generosity, and kindness and 
truthfulness, there are others who start life with just the 
opjDosite tendency, aud they are born liars, or born malcon- 
tents, or born outlaws, or born swindlers. There is in 
England a school that is called the Princess Mary school. 
All the children in that school are the children of convicts. 
The school is supported by high patronage. I had the pleasure 
of being present at one of their anniversaries, in,JL8Z9, pre- 
sided over by the Earl of Kintore. By a wise law in England, 
after parents have committed a certain number of crimes, 
and thereby shown themselves incompetent rightly to bring 
up their children, the little ones are taken from under per- 
nicious influences and put in reformatory scbools, where all 
gracious and kindly influences shall be brought upon them. 
Of course the experiment is young, and it has got to be 
demonstrated how large a percentage of the children of con- 
victs may be brought up to respectability and usefulness. But 
we all know that it is more difficult for children of bad 
parentage to do right than for children of good parentage. 

In this country we are taught by the Declaration of 
American Independence, that all people are born equal. 
There never was a greater misrepresentation put in one sen- 
tence than in that sentence which implies that we are all born 
equal. You may as well say that flowers are born equal or 
trees are born equal, or animals are born equal. Why does 
one horse cost one hundred dollars and another horse cost 
five thousand dollars? Why does one sheep cost ten dollars 
and another sheep cost five hundred dollars? Difference in 
blood. We are wise enough to recognize the difference of 


blood in horses, in cattle, in sheep, but we are not wise enough 
to make allowance for the difference in the human blood. 
Now I demand by the law of eternal fairness that you be 
more lenient in your criticism of those who were born wrong, 
in whose ancestral line' there was a hangman's knot, or who 
came from a tree the fruit of which for centuries has been 
gnarled and worm-eaten. Dr. Harris, a reformer, gave some 
marvelous statistics in his story of what he called "Margaret, 
the Mother of Criminals." Ninety years ago she lived in a 
village in upper New York State. She was not only poor, 
but she was vicious. She was not well provided for. 
There were no almshouses there. The public, however, 
somewhat looked after her, but chiefly scoffed at her, and 
derided her, and pushed her farther down in her crimes. 
That was ninety years ago. There have been six hundred 
and twenty-three persons in that ancestral line, two hundred 
of them criminals. In one branch of that family there were 
twenty, and nine of tliein have been in State Prison, and 
nearly all of the others have turned out badly. It is esti- 
mated that that family cost the county and State one hundred 
thousand dollars, to *say nothing of the property they de- 
stroyed. Are you not willing, as sensible people, to acknowl- 
edge that it is a fearful disaster to be born in such an ances-- 
tral line? Does it not make a great difference whether one 
descends from Margaret, the mother of criminals, or from 
some mother in Israel? whether you are the son of Ahab, or 
the son of Joshua? It is a very different thing to swim with 
the current, from what it is to swim against the current. If 
a man find himself in an ancestral current where is good 
blood flowing smoothly from generation to generation, it is 
not a very great credit to him if he turn out good and honest, 
and pure and noble. He could hardly help it. But suppose 
he is born in an ancestral line, in an hereditary line, where 
the influences have been bad, and there has been a coming 
down over moral declivity, if the man surrender to the 


influences be will go down under the overmastering gravita- 
tion unless some supernatural aid be afforded bim. Now, 
such a person deserves not your excoriation, but your pity. 
Do not sit with the lip ciu'led in scorn, and with an assumed 
air of angelic innocence looking down upon such moral pre- 
cipitation. You had better get down on your knees and first 
pray Almighty God for their rescue, and next thank the 
Lord that you have not been thrown under the wheels of that 
juggernaut. In Great Britain and in the United States, in 
every generation, there are tens of thousands of persons who 
are fully developed criminals and incarcerated. I say in 
every generation. Then, I suppose there are tens of thous- 
ands of persons not found out in their criminality. In 
addition to these there are tens of thousands of persons, who 
not positively becoming criminals, nevertheless have a crim- 
inal tendency. Any one of all those thousands by the grace 
of God may become Christian, and resist the ancestral in- 
fluence, and open a new chapter of behavior; but the vast 
majority of them will not, and it becomes all men, profes- 
sional, unprofessional, ministers of religion, judges of courts, 
philanthropists and Christian workers, to recognize the fact 
that there are these Atlantic and Pacific surges of hereditary 
evil rolling on through the centuries. 

A man can resist this tendency, just as in the ancestral 
line mentioned in the first chapter of Matthew. You see in 
the same line in wbich there was a wicked Eehoboam and a 
desperate Man asses, there afterward came a pious Joseph, 
and a glorious Christ. But, my readers, you must recognize 
the fact these influences go on from generation to'generation. 
I am glad to know, however, that a river, which has 
produced nothing but miasma for one hundred miles, 
may after awhile turn the wheels of factories and help sup- 
port industrious and virtuous populations; and there are 
family lines which were poisoned that are a benediction now. 
At the last day it will be found out that there are men who 


have gone clear over into all forms of iniquity and plunged 
into other abandonment, who, before they yielded to the first 
temptation, resisted more evil than many a man who has 
been moral and upright all his life. But supposing now, 
that in this age when there are so many good people, that I 
select the very best man in it. I do not mean the man who 
would style himself the best, for probably he is a hypocrite ; 
but I mean the man who before God is really the best. I will 
take you out from your Christian surroundings. I will 
take you back to boyhood. I will put you in a depraved 
home. I will put you in a cradle of iniquity. Who is that 
bending over that cradle? An intoxicated mother. Who is 
that swearing in the next room? Your father. The neighbors 
come in to talk, and their jokes are unclean. There is not 
in the house a Bible or moral treatise, but only a few scraps 
of an old pictorial. After awhile you are old enough to get 
out of the cradle, and you are struck across the head for 
naughtiness, but never in any kindly manner reprimanded. 
After awhile you are old enough to go abroad, and you are 
sent out with a basket to steal. If you come home without 
any spoil you are whipped until the blood comes. At fifteen 
years of age you go out to fight your own battles in this 
world, which seems to care no more for you than the dog 
that died of a fit under the fence. You are kicked and cuffed 
and buffeted. Some day, rallying your courage, you resent 
some wrong. A man says: " Who are you? I know who 
you are. Your father had free lodgings in prison. Your 
mother was up for drunkenness at the Criminal Court. Get 
out of my way, you lowlived wretch!" My brother, suppose 
that had been the history of your advent, and the history of 
your earlier surroundings, would you have been the Christian 
maa you are to-day? I tell you nay. You would have been 
a vagabond, an outlaw, a murderer on the scaffold atoning 
for your crime. All these considerations ought to make us 
merciful in our dealings Avith the wandering and the lost. 


Iu our estimate of the misdoings of people who have 
fallen from high respectability and usefulness, we must take 
into consideration the conjunction of circumstances. In 
nine cases out of ten a man who goes astray does not intend 
any positive wrong. He has trust funds. He risks a part of 
these funds in investment. He says: " Now, if I should 
lose that investment I have my own property, five times as 
much, and if this investment should go wrong I could easily 
make it up; I could five times make it up." With that 
Avrong reasoning he goes on and makes the investment, and 
it does not turn out quite so well as lie expected, and he 
makes another investment, and strange to say, at the time 
all his other affairs get entangled, and all his other resources 
fail, and his hands are tied. Now he wants to extricate him- 
self. He goes a little farther on in the wrong investment. 
He takes a plunge further ahead, for he wants to save his 
wife and children, he wants his home, he wants to save his 
membership in the church. He takes one more plunge and all 
is lost. Some morning at ten o'clock the bank door is not 
opened, and there is a card on the door signed by an officer 
of the bank, indicating there is trouble, and the name of the 
defaulter or defrauder heads the newspaper column. Under 
these conditions hundreds of men say, "Good for him; 
hundreds of other men say : " I'm glad he's found out at last ; ' ' 
hundreds of other men say: "Just as I told you;" hundreds 
of other men say: "We couldn't possibly have been tempted 
to do that — no conjunction of circumstances could ever have 
overthrown me;" and there is a superabundance of indigna- 
tion, but no pity. The heavens full of lightning, but not 
one drop of dew. If God treated us as society treats that 
man we would all have been in hell long ago! Wait for the 
alleviating circumstances. Perhaps he may have been the 
dupe of others. Before you let all the hounds out from their 
kennel to maul and tear that man, fincl out if he has not 
been brought up in a commercial establishment where there 


was a wrong system of ethics taught; find out whether that 
man has not an extravagant wife, who is not satisfied with 
his honest earnings, and in the temptation to please her 
he has gone into that ruin into which enough men have 
fallen, and by the same temptation, to make a procession of 
many miles. Perhaps some sudden sickness may have 
touched his brain and his judgment may be unbalanced. He 
is wrong; he is awfully wrong, and he must be condemned, 
but there may be mitigating circumstances. Perhaps under 
the same temptation you might have fallen. The reason some 
men do not steal two hundred thousand dollars is because 
they do not get a chance! Have righteous indignation you 
must about that man's conduct, but temper it with mercy. 
But you say: "I am sorry that the innocent should suffer." 
Yes, I am too — sorry for the widows and orphans who lost 
their all by that defalcation. I am sorry also for the business 
men, the honest business men, who have had their affairs all 
crippled by that defalcation. I am sorry for that venerable 
bank president to whom the credit of that bank was a matter 
of pride. Yes, I am sorry also for that man who brought all 
the distress ; sorry that he sacrificed body, mind, soul, rep- 
utation, heaven, and went into the blackness of darkness 

You defiantly say: "I could not be tempted in that way." 
Perhaps you may be tested after awhile. God has a very 
good memory, and he sometimes seems to say: "This man 
feels so strong in his innate power and goodness he shall be 
tested; he is so full of bitter invective against that unfor- 
tunate it shall be shown now whether he has the power to 
stand." Fifteen years go by. The wheel of fortune turns 
several times, and you are in a crisis that you never could 
have anticipated. Now, all the powers of darkness come 
around, and they chuckle, and they chatter, and they say: 
"Aha ! here is the old fellow who was so proud of his integrity, 
and who bragged he couldn't be overthrown by temptation, 


and was so uproarious in his demonstrations of indignation 
at the defalcation fifteen years ago. Let us see." God lets 
the man go. God, who had kept that man under His protect- 
ing care, let the man go, and try for himself the majesty of 
his integrity. God letting the man go, the powers of dark- 
ness pounce upon him. I see you some day in your office in 
great excitement. One of two things you can do. Be honest, 
and he pauperized, and have your children brought home 
from school, your family dethroned in social influence. The 
other thing is, you can step a little aside from that which is 
right, you can only just go half an inch out of the proper 
path, you can only take a little risk, and then you have all 
your finances fair and right. You have a large property. 
You can leave a fortune for your children, and endow a col- 
lege, and build a public library in your native town. You 
halt and wait, and halt and wait until your lips get white. 
You decide to risk it. Only a few strokes of the pen now. 
But, oh, how your hand trembles, how dreadfully it trembles! 
The die is cast. By the strangest and most awful conjunc- 
tion of circumstances any one could have imagined, you are 
prostrated. Bankruptcy, commercial annihilation, exposure, 
crime. Good men mourn and . devils hold carnival, and you 
see your own name at the head of the newspaper column in 
a whole congress of exclamation points; and while you are 
reading the anathema in the reportorial and editorial para- 
graph, it occurs to you how much this story is like that of 
the defalcation of fifteen years ago, and a clap of thunder 
shakes the window-sill, saying: "With what measure ye 
mete, it shall be measured to you again!" 

You look in another direction. There is nothing like an 
ebullition of temper to put a man to disadvantage. You, a 
man with calm pulses and a fine digestion and perfect 
health, can not understand how anybody should be capsized 
in temper by an infinitesimal annoyance. You say: "I! 
couldn't be unbalanced in that way." Perhaps you smile at 


a provocation that makes another man swear. You pride 
yourself on your imperturbability. You say with your man- 
ner, though you have too much good taste to say it with your 
words: "I have a great deal more sense than that man has; 1 
I have a great deal more equipoise of temper than that man 
has; I never could make such a puerile exhibition of myself 
as that man has made." You do not realize that that man 
was born with a keen nervous organization, that for forty 
years he has been under a depleting process, that sickness 
and trouble have been helping undo what was left of original 
healthfulness, that much of his time it has been with him 
like filing saws, that his nerves have come to be merely a 
tangle of disorders, and that he is the most pitiable object on 
earth who, though he is very sick, does not look sick, and 
nobody sympathizes. Let me see. Did you not say that 
you could not be tempted to an ebullition of temper? Some 
September you come home from your summer Avatering-place 
and you have inside, away back in your liver or spleen, what 
we call in our day malaria, but what the old folks called 
chills and fever. You take quinine until your ears are first 
buzzing beehives and then roaring Niagaras. You take roots 
and herbs, you take everything. You get well. But the 
next day you feel uncomfortable, and you yawn, and you 
stretch, and you shiver, and you consume, and you suffer. 
Vexed more than you can tell, you can not sleep, and 
you can not eat, you can not bear to see anytbing that 
looks happy, you go out to kick the cat that is asleep in 
the sun. Your children's mirth was once music to you; now 
it is deafening. You say: "Boys, stop that racket!" You 
turn back from June to March. In the family and in the 
neighborhood your popularity is ninety-five percentoff. The 
world says: "What is the matter with that disagreeable 
man? What a woe-begone countenance! I can't bear the 
sight of him." You have got your pay at last — got your pay. 
You feel just as the man felt, that man for whom you had 


no mercy: " With what measure ye mete, it shall be measured 
to you again." 

In the study of society I have come to this conclusion, 
that the most of the people want to be good, but they do not 
exactly know how to make it out. They make enough good 
resolutions to lift them into angelbood. The vast majority of 
people who fall are victims of circumstances; they are cap- 
tured by ambuscade. If their temptations should come out 
in a regiment and fight them in a fair field, they would go out 
in the strength and the triumph of David against Goliath. 
But they do not see the giant, and they do not see the regi- 
ment. Suppose temptation should come up to a man and say: 
"Here is alcohol; take three tablespoonfuls of it a day until 
you get dependent upon it ; then after that take half of a 
glass three times a day until you get dependent upon that 
amount, then go on increasing the amount until you are sat- 
urated from morning until night and from night until morn- 
ing." Do you suppose any man would become a drunkard 
in that way? Oh, no! Temptation comes and says: "Take 
these bitters, take this nervine, take this aid to digestion, 
take this night-cap." The vast majority of men and women 
who are destroyed by opium and by rum first take them as 
medicines. In making up your dish of criticism in regard to 
them, take from the caster the cruet of sweet oil, and not the 
cruet of cayenne pepper. Be easy on them. Do you know 
how that physician, that lawyer, that journalist became the 
victim of dissipation? Why the physician was kept up night 
by night on professional duty. Life and death hovered in 
the balance. His nervous system was exhausted. There 
came a time of epidemic, and whole families were prostrated, 
and his nervous strength was gone. He was all worn out in 
the service of the public. Now he must brace himself up. 
Now he stimulates. The life of this mother, the life of this 
child, the life of this father, the life of this whole family 
must be saved, and of all these families must be saved, and 



he stimulates, and he does it again and again. You may 
criticize his judgment, hut remember the process. It was 
not a selfish process by which he went down. It was mag- 
nificent generosity through which he fell. That attorney at 
the bar for weeks has been standing in a poorly-ventilated 
court-room, listening to the testimony and contesting in the 
dry technicalities of the law, and now the time has come for 
him to wind up, and he must plead for the life of his client, 
and his nervous system is all gone. If he fails in that 
speech his client perishes. If he have eloquence enough 
in that hour his client is saved. He stimulates. He 
must keep up. He says: " I must keep up." Having 
a large practice you see how he is enthralled. You may 
criticize his judgment, but remember the process. Do 
not be hard. That journalist has had exhausting midnight 
work. He has had to report speeches and orations that keep 
him up till a very late hour. He has gone with much 
exposure working up some case of crime in company with a 
detective. He sits down at midnight to write out his notes 
from a memorandum scrawled on a pad under unfavorable 
circumstances. His strength is gone. Fidelity to the public 
intelligence, fidelity to his own livelihood demand that he 
keep up. He must keep up. He stimulates. Again and 
again he does that, and he goes down. You may criticize his 
judgment in the matter, but have mercy. Remember the 
process. Do not be hard 

This truth will come to fulfillment in some cases in this 
world. The huntsman in Farmsteen was shot by some 
unknown person. Twenty years after the son of the same 
huntsman was in the same forest, and he accidentally shot a 
man, and the man in dying said: "God is just; I shot your 
father just here twenty years ago." A bishop said to Louis 
XL of France : " Make an iron cage for all those who do 
not think as we do— an iron cage in which the captive can 
neither lie down nor stand straight up." It was fashioned — 


the awful instrument of punishment. After awhile the bishop 
offended Louis XI., and for fourteen years he was in that 
same cage, and could neither lie down nor stand up. It is a 
poor rule that will not work both ways. 

Oh, my readers, let us be resolved to scold less and pray 
more. That which in the Bible is used as the symbol of all 
gracious influences is the dove, not the porcupine. We may 
so unskilfully manage the lifeboat that we shall run down 
those whom we want to rescue. The first preparation for 
Christian usefulness is warm-hearted common-sense, practical 
sympathy for those whom we want to save. What headway 
will we make in the judgment if in this world we have been 
hard on those who have gone astray? What headway will 
you and I make in the last great judgment, when we must 
have mercy or perish? The Bible says: "They shall have 
judgment without mercy that showed no mercy. " I see the 
scribes of heaven looking up into the face of such a man, 
saying: "What! you plead for mercy! you whom in all your 
life never had any mercy on your fellows! Don't you 
remember how hard you were in your opinions of those who 
were astray? Don't you remember when you ought to have 
given a helping hand you employed a hard heel? Mercy! 
You must mis- speak yourself when you plead for mercy here. 
Mercy for others, but no mercy for you." " Look," say the 
scribes of heaven, "look at that inscription over the throne 
of judgment — the throne of God's judgment." See it coming 
out, letter by letter, word by word, sentence by sentence, 
until your startled vision reads it, and your remorseful spirit 
appropriates it: "With what measure ye mete it shall be 
measured to you again. Depart, ye cursed." 



We are surrounded by mystery. Before us, behind us, to 
the right of us, to the left of 'us, mystery. There is a vast 
realm unexplored, that science, I have no doubt, will yet map 
out. He who explores that realm will do the world more 
service than did ever a Columbus or an Amerigo Vespucci. 
There are so many things that can not be accounted for, so 
many sounds and appearances which defy acoustics and inves- 
tigation, so many things approximating to the spectral, so 
many effects which do not seem to have a sufficient cause. 
The wall between the spiritual and the material is a very 
thin wall. 

That there are communications between this world and 
the next world there can be no doubt, the spirits of our de- 
parted going from this world to that, and, according to the 
Bible, ministering spirits coming from that to this. I do not 
know but that some time there may be complete, and con 
stant, and unmistakable lines of communication opened 
between this world and the next. To unlatch the door 
between the present state and the future state all the fingers 
of superstition have been busy. We have books entitled 
"Footfalls on the Boundaries of Other Worlds," "The Debat- 
able Land Between this World and the Next," "Besearches 
into the Phenomena of Spiritualism," and whole libraries of 
hocus-pocus, enough to deceive the very elect. 

Modern Spiritualism proposes to open the door between 
this world and the next, and put us into communication with 
the dead. It has never yet offered one reasonable credential. 



There is nothing in the intelligence or the character of the 
founders of Spiritualism to commend it. All the wonderful 
things performed by Spiritualism have been performed by 
sleight-of-hand and rank deception. Dr. Carpenter, Kobert 
Houdin, Mr. Waite and others have exposed the fraud by 
dramatizing in the presence of audiences the very things that 
Spiritualism proposes to do or says it has done. In the New 
York Independent there is an account of a challenge given by 
a non- Spiritualist to a Spiritualist to meet him on the plat- 
form of Tremont Temple, Boston. The non -Spiritualist 
declared that he would by sleight-of-hand perform all the 
feats executed by the Spiritualist. They met in the presence 
of an audience. The Spiritualist went through his wonderful 
performances, and the other man by sleight-of-hand did the 
same things. 

" By their fruits ye shall know them," is the test that 
Christ gave, and by that test I conclude that the tree of 
Spiritualism which yields bad fruit, and bad fruit continually, 
is one of the worst trees in all the orchard of necromancy. 
The postoffice which it has established between the next world 
and this is another Star Boute postoffice, kept up at vast 
expense without ever having delivered one letter from the 
other world to this. 

Spiritualism is a very old doctrine. Do you want to 
know the origin and the history of that which has captured 
so many in all our towns and cities, a doctrine with which 
^ome of you are tinged? Spiritualism in America was born 
in 1847, in HydesviUe, Wayne county, New York, where one 
night there was a rapping at the door of Michael Weekman, 
and a second rapping at the door, and a third rapping at the 
door, and every time the door was opened there was no one 
there. Proof positive that they were invisible knuckles that 
rapped at the door. In that same house there was a man who 
felt a cold hand pass over his forehead, and there was no arm 
attached to the hand. Proof positive it was spiritualistic in- 




fluence. After a while, Mr. Fox with his family moved into 
that house, and then they had hangings at the door every 
night. One night Mr. Fox cried out : "Are you a spirit?" Two 
raps — answer in the affirmative. "Are you an injured spirit?" 
Two raps — answer in the affirmative. Then they knew right 
away that it was the spirit of a peddler who had been mur- 
dered in that house years before, and who had been robbed of 
his five hundred dollars. Whether the spirit of the peddler 
came back to collect his five hundred dollars or his bones I 
do not know. But from that time on there was a constant 
excitement around the premises, and the excitement spread 
all over the land. All these are matters of history. People 
said: "Well, now, we have a new religion." Ah! it is not a 
new religion. 

In all ages there have been necromancers, those who con- 
sulted with the spirits of the departed — charmers who threw 
people into a mesmeric state, sorcerers who by eating poi- 
sonous herbs can see everything, hear everything, and tell 
everything, astrologers who found out a new dispensation of 
the stars, experts in palmistry who can tell by the lines in 
the palm of your hand your origin, your history and your 
destiny. From the cavern on Mount Parnassus it is said 
there came up an atmosphere that intoxicated the sheep and 
the goats that came near by, and under its influence the 
shepherds were lifted into exaltation so they could foretell 
future events and consult with familiar spirits. Long before 
the time of Christ the Brahmins had all the table rocking 
and the table quaking. 

You want to know what God thinks of all these things. 
He says in one place, "I will be a swift witness against the 
sorcerers." He says in another place, "Thou shalt not 
suffer a witch to live." And lest you should make too wide a 
margin between Spiritualism and witchcraft, he groups them 
together, and says: "There shall not be found among you 
any consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necro- 


mancer, for all that do these things are an abomination unto 
the Lord." And then the still more remarkable passage, 
which says: "The soul that turneth after such as have 
familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after 
them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut 
him off from among his people;" and a score of passages 
showing that God never speaks of these evils in any other 
way than with living thunders of indignation. 

Spiritualism takes advantage of people when they are 
weak and morbid with trouble. We lose a friend. The 
house is dark, the world is dark, the future seems dark. If 
we had in our rebellion and in our weakness the power to 
marshal a host and recapture our loved one from the next 
world, we would marshal the host. Oh, how we long to 
speak with the dead ! Spiritualism comes in at that moment, 
when we are all worn out, perhaps by six weeks' or two 
months' watching, all worn out body, mind, and soul, and 
says, "Now I will open the door, you shall hear the voices; 
take your place around the table; all be quiet now." Five 
minutes pass along ; no response from the next world. Ten 
minutes, fifteen minutes, twenty minutes. Nervous system 
all the time more and more agitated. Thirty minutes ; no 
response from the next world. Forty minutes pass, and the 
table begins to shiver. Then the medium sits down, his 
hand twitching, and the pen and the ink and the paper 
having been provided, he writes out the message from the 
next world. 

What is remarkable is that these spirits, after being in 
the illumination of heaven, some of them for years, forget 
how to spell right. People who were excellent grammarians 
come back, and with their first sentence smash all the laws 
of English grammar! I received such a letter. I happened 
to know the man that signed it. It was a miserably spelled 
letter. I sent it back with the remark. "You just send 
word to those spirits they had better go to school and 


study orthography." It comes in time of weakness, and 
overthrows the soul. Now, just think of spirits enthroned 
in heaven coming down to crawl under a table, and break 
crockery, and ring the bell before supper is ready, and rattle 
the shutters on a gusty night. What consolation in such 
miserable stuff as compared with the consolation of our 
departed friends free from toil, and sin, and pain, and for- 
ever happy, and that we will join them, not in mysterious 
and half utterances, which make the hair stand on end, and 
make cold chills creep up and down the back, but in a 
reunion most blessed, and happy, and glorious. 

Oh, I hate Spiritualism, because it takes advantage of 
people when they are weak, and worn out, and morbid under 
the bereavements and sorrows of this life. It is also an 
affair of the night. The Davenports, the Foxes, the Fowlers, 
and all the mediums prefer the night, or if it is in the day- 
time, a darkened room. Why? Because deception is more 
successful in the night. Some of the things done in Spiritu- 
alism are not frauds, but are to be ascribed to some occult 
law of nature which will after a while be demonstrated; but 
nine hundred and ninety-nine out of a thousand of their feats 
are arrant and unmitigated humbug. 

I suppose almost every one sometime has been touched by 
some hallucination. Indigestion from a late supper generally 
accounts for it. If you will only take in generous propor- 
tions at eleven o'clock at night, lobster salad and mince-pie 
and ice-cream and lemonade and a little cocoanut, you will 
be able to see fifty materialized spirits. All the mediums of 
the past did their work in the night. Witch of Endor held 
her seance in the night. Deeds of darkness. Away with 
this religion of spooks ! 

Spiritualism ruins the physical health. Look in upon an 
audience of Spiritualists. Cadaverous, pale, worn out, ex- 
hausted. Hands cold and clammy. Nothing prospers but 
long hair — soft marshes yielding rank grass. Something 


startling going through that room, clothed in white. Table 
fidgety as though to get its feet loose and dance. Voices 
sepulchral. Rappings mysterious. I never knew a confirmed 
Spiritualist who had a healthy nervous organization. It is 
the first stages of epilepsy or catalepsy. I have noticed that 
people who hear a great many rappings from the next world 
have not much strength to endure the hard raps of this. 

What a sin it is to be trifling with your nervous system. 
Get your nervous system out of tune and the whole universe 
is out of tune as far as you are concerned. Better tamper 
with the chemist's retort that may smite, you dead, or with 
engineer's steam boiler that may blow you to atoms, than 
trifle with your nerves. You can live without eyes, and with 
one lung and with no hands and no feet. Be happy as men 
have been happy in such misfortune; but alas! if your 
nervous system is gone. 

Spiritualism is a marital and social curse. Deeds of 
darkness and orgies of obscenity have transpired under its 
wing. I cannot tell you the story. I will not pollute my 
tongue or your ears with the recital. Enough to know that 
the criminal courts have often been called to stop the crim- 
inality. How many families have been broken up throughout 
the United States! Women by the hundreds have by Spirit- 
ualism been pushed off into a life of profligacy. It employs 
all that phraseology about "spiritual affinities," and "affinital 
relation," and "spiritual matches," and the whole vocabulary 
of free love. It is at war with the marriage relation. I 
quote from one of their prominent papers where it says: 
"Marriage is the monster curse of civilization." The Spirit- 
ualist paper goes on to say: " Marriage controls education, 
is the fountain of selfishness, the cause of intemperance and 
debauchery, the source and aggravation of poverty, the 
prolific mother of disease and crime. The society we want 
is men and women living in freedom, sustaining themselves 
by their own industry, dealing with each other in equity* 


respecting each other's sovereignty, and governed by their 
attractions. " 

If Spiritualism had full swing it would turn this world 
into a pandemonium of carnality. It is an unclean and 
an adulterous religion, and the sooner it goes down to the pit 
from which it came up, the better for earth and heaven. For 
the sake of man's honor and woman's purity, let it perish. 
I wish I could gather up all the raps it has ever heard from 
spirits blest or damned on its own head in one thundering rap 
of annihilation. 

This belief in Spiritualism produces insanity. There is 
not an asylum from Bangor to San Francisco where there are 
not the torn and bleeding victims of Spiritualism. You go 
into an asylum and say: "What is the matter with this 
man?" The doctors will tell you again and again, "Spirit- 
ualism demented him." "What is the matter with this 
woman?" "Spiritualism demented her." They have been 
carried off into mental midnight — senators, judges of courts — 
and at one time they came near capturing a President of the 
United States. At Flushing, Long Island, there was a happy 
home. The father became infatuated with Spiritualism, for- 
sook his home, took the fifteen thousand dollars, the only 
fifteen thousand dollars he had, surrendered them to a New 
York medium, three times attempted to take his own life, and 
then was sent to the State lunatic asylum. You put your hand 
in the hand of this influence and it will lead you down to 
darkness, eternal darkness, where Spiritualism holds an ever- 
lasting seance. 

You remember the steamer Atlantic started from Europe 
for America. After it had been out long enough to get to 
the middle of the ocean, the machinery broke, and for days 
and weeks the steamer Atlantic tossed about in the waves. 
There were many friends of the passengers who said, " That 
vessel has gone down; it is a month since she was due; that 
vessel must have sunk." There were wives who went to 


spiritual mediums to learn the fate of that vessel. The 
spirits were gathered around the table and they said that 
vessel had gone to the bottom with all on board. Some of 
those women went to the insane asylum and passed the rest 
of their lives. But one day, off quarantine, a gun was 
heard. Flags went up on all the shipping, bells were rung, 
newsboys ran through the streets shouting: "Extra! The 
Atlantic safe!" The vessel came to wharf, and there was 
embracing of long-absent ones; but some of these men went 
up to the insane asylum to find their wives incarcerated by 
this foul cheat of hell, Spiritualism. 

What did Judge Edmonds say in Broadway Tabernacle, 
New York, while making argument in behalf of Spiritualism, 
himself having been fully captured. "What did Judge Ed- 
monds say? He admitted this: "There is a fascination about 
consultation with the spirits of the dead that has a tendency 
to lead people off from their right judgment, and to instil into 
them a fanaticism that is revolting to the natural mind." 

It not only ruins its disciples but it ruins its mediums. 
No sooner had the Gadarean swine on the banks of Galilee 
become spiritual mediums than they went down in an ava- 
lanche of pork to the consternation of all the herdsmen. 
Spiritualism bad for a man, bad for a woman, bad for a 

It ruins the soul. It first makes a man quarter of an 
infidel, then it makes him half an infidel, then it makes him 
a full infidel. The whole system is built on the insufficiency 
of the Bible as a revelation. If God is ever struck square in 
the face it is when men sit at a table, put their hands on the 
table and practically say: "Come, you spirits of the departed, 
and make revelation in regard to the future world which the 
Bible has not made. Come, father; come, mother, companion 
in life, my children, come, tell me something about that 
future world which the Bible is not able to tell me." 
Although the Bible says he that adds a word to it shall be 


found a liar, men are all the time getting these revelations, 
or trying to get them from the next world. You will either, 
my reader, have to give up the Bible or give up Spiritualism. 
No one ever for a very great length of time kept both of them. 



Isaiah gives a description of the idolatry and worldliness 
of people in his time, and of a very prevalent style of diet 
in our time. The world spreads a great feast and invites the 
race to sit at it. Platters are heaped up. Chalices are full. 
Garlands wreathe the wall. The guests sit down amid out- 
bursts of hilarity. They take the fruit and it turns into 
ashes. They uplift the tankards and their contents prove 
to be ashes. They touch the garlands and they scatter into 
ashes. I do not know any passage of Scripture which so 
apothegmatically sets forth the unsatisfactory nature of this 
world for eye, and tongue, and lip, and heart as this partic- 
ular passage, describing the votary of the world, when it 
says: "He feedeth on ashes." 

I shall not take the estimate by those whose life has been 
a failure. A man may despise the world simply because he 
cannot win it. Having failed, in his chagrin, he may decry 
that which he would like to have had as his bride. I shall, 
therefore, take only the testimony of those who have been 
magnificently successful. In the first place, I shall ask the 
kings of the earth to stand up and give testimony, telling of 
the long story of sleepless nights, and poisoned cups, and 
threatened invasion, and dreaded rebellion. Ask the Georges, 
ask the Henrys, ask the Marys, ask the Louises, ask the 
Catherines, whether they found the throne a safe seat, and 
the crown a pleasant covering. Ask the French guillotine 
in Madame Tussaud's Museum about the queenly necks it has 
dissevered. Ask the Tower of London and its headsman's 



block. Ask the Tuileries, and Henry VLTL, and Cardinal 
Woolsey to rise out of the dust, and say what they think of 
worldly honors. Ghastly with the first and the second 
death, they rise tip with eyeless sockets and grinning skel- 
: etons, and stagger forth, unable at first to speak at all, but 
afterward hoarsely whispering : "Ashes! ashes!" 

I call up also a group of commercial adepts to give testi- 
mony ; and here again, those who have been only moderately 
successful may not testify. All the witnesses must be mil- 
lionaires. What a grand thing it must be to own a railroad, 
to control a bank, to possess all the houses on one street, to 
have vast investments tumbling in upon you day after day, 
whether you work or not. No ; no. William B. Astor, a 
few days before his death, sits in his office in New York, 
grieving almost until he is sick, because rents have gone down. 
A. T. Stewart finds his last days full of foreboding and doubt. 
When a Christian man proposes to talk to him about the 
matters of the soul, he cries : " Go away from me ! Go away 
from me;" not satisfied until the man has got outside the 
door. Come up, ye millionaires, from various cemeteries and 
graveyards, and tell us now what you think of banks, and 
mills, and factories, and counting-houses, and marble palaces, 
and presidential banquets. They stagger forth and lean 
against the cold slab of the tomb, mouthing with toothless 
gums and gesticulating with fleshless hands and shivering 
with the chill of sepulchral dampness, while they cry out : 

I must call up now, also., a group of sinful pleasurists, 
and here again I will not take the testimony of those who 
had the more ordinary gratifications of life. Their pleasures 
are pyramidal. They bloomed paradisiacally. If they drank 
wine, it must be the best that was ever pressed from the vine- 
yards of Hockheimer. If they listened to music, it must be 
costliest opera, with renowned prima donna. If they sinned, 
they chased polished uncleannesses and graceful despair and 


glittering damnation. Stand up, Alcibiades and Aaron Burr 
and Lord Byron and Queen Elizabeth — what think you now 
of midnight revel and sinful carnival and damask curtained 
abomination? Answer! The color goes out of the cheek, 
the dregs serpent-twisted in the bottom of the wine cup, the 
bright lights quenched in blackness of darkness, they jingle 
together the broken glasses, and rend the faded silks, and shut 
the door of the deserted banqueting-hall, while they cry: "A 
wasted life. " 

There are a great many who try to feed their soul on 
infidelity mixed with truth. They say the Bible has good 
things in it, but it is not inspired. They say Christ was a 
good man, but He was not inspired, and their religion is made 
up of ten degrees of humanitarianism and ten degrees of 
transcendentalism and ten degrees of egotism with one degree 
of Gospel truth, and on a poor, miserable cud they make 
their immortal soul chew, while the meadows of God's word 
are green and luxuriant with well-watered pastures. Did you 
ever see a happy infidel? Did you ever meet a placid sceptic? 
Did you ever find a contented atheist? Not one. From the 
days of Gibbon and Voltaire down, not one. They quarrel 
about God. They quarrel about the Bible. They quarrel 
about each other. They quarrel with themselves. They take 
all the divine teachings and gather them together, and under 
them they put the fires of their own wit, and scorn, and sarcasm, 
and then they dance in the light of that blaze, and they scratch 
amid the rubbish for something with which to help them in 
the days of trouble, and something to comfort them in the days 
of death, finding for their distraught and destroyed souls, noth- 
ing. Voltaire declared : "Tbis globe seems to me more like 
a collection of carcases than of men. I wish I had never 
been born." Hume says: "I am like a man who has run on 
rocks and quicksands, and yet I contemplate putting out on 
the sea in the same leaky and weather-beaten craft." Ches- 
terfield says: "I have been behind the scenes, and I have 


noticed the clumsy pulleys and the dirty ropes by which all 
the scene is managed, and I have seen and smelt the tallow 
candles which throw the illumination on the stage, and I am 
tired and sick." Get up, then, Francis Newport, and Hume, 
and Voltaire, and Tom Paine, and all the infidels who have 
passed out of this world into the eternal world — get up now 
and tell what you think of all your grandiloquent derision at 
our holy religion. "What do you think now of all your sar- 
casm at holy things? They come shrieking up from the lost 
world to the graveyards where their bodies were entombed, 
and point down to the white dust of dissolution, and cry : 
"A wasted life." 

Oh, what a mistake for an immortal soul. "What is 
that unrest that sometimes comes across you! Why is 
it that, surrounded by friends, and even the luxuries of 
life, you wish you were somewhere else, or had some- 
thing you have not yet gained? The world calls it ambi- 
tion. The physicians call it nervousness. Your friends 
call it the fidgets. I call it hunger — deep, grinding, unap- 
peasable hunger. It starts with us when we are born, and 
goes on with us until the Lord God himself appeases it. It 
is seeking and delving and striving and planning to get 
something we cannot get. Wealth says: "It is not in me." 
Science says: "It is not in me." Worldly applause says: 
"It is not in me." Sinful indulgence says: "It is not in 
me." Where then is it? On the banks of what stream? 
Slumbering in what grotto? Marching in what contest? 
Expiring on what pillow? Tell me, for this winged and 
immortal spirit, is there nothing? 

In communion with God, and everlasting trust of Him, 
is complete satisfaction. Solomon described it when he com- 
pared it to cedar houses and golden chairs and bounding 
reindeer and day-break and imperial couch; to saffron, to 
calamus, to white teeth, and hands heavy with gold rings, 
and towers of ivory and ornamental figures; but Christ calls 


it bread ! famished yet immortal soul, why not come and 
get it? Until our sins are pardoned, there is no rest. We 
know not at what moment the hounds may hay at us. We 
are in a castle and know not what hour it may be besieged; 
but when the soothing voice of Christ comes across our per- 
turbation, it is hushed forever. A merchant in Antwerp 
loaned Charles V. a vast sum of money, taking for it a bond. 
One day this Antwerp merchant invited Charles V. to dine 
with him, and while they were seated at the table, in the 
presence of the guests, the merchant had a fire built on a 
platter in the center of the table. Then he took the bond 
which the King had given him for the vast sum of money, 
and held it in the blaze until it was consumed, and the King 
congratulated himself, and all the guests congratulated the 
King. There was gone at last the final evidence of his 
indebtedness. Mortgaged to God, we owe a debt we can 
never pay; but God invites us to the Gospel feast, and in 
the fires of crucifixion agony He puts the last record of our 
indebtedness, and it is consumed forever. It was so in the 
case of the dying thief expiring in dark despair, with the 
judgment to come staring him in the face, and the terrors of 
hell laying hold of his soul. He had faith in the Crucified 
One, and his faith won for him an immediate entrance into 

Oh, to have all the sins of our past forgiven, and to have 
all possible security for the future — is not that enough to 
make a man happy? What makes that old Christian so 
placid? Most of his family lie in the village cemetery. His 
health is undermined. His cough will not let him sleep at 
night. From the day he came to town and he was a clerk, 
until this the day of his old age, it has been a hard fight for 
bread. Yet how happy he looks. Why? It is because he 
feels that the same God who watched him when he lay in his 
mother's arms is watching him in the time of old age, and 
unto God he has committed all his dead, expecting after 



a- while to see them again. He has no anxiety whether he go 
this summer or next summer — whether he be carried out 
through the. snowbanks or through the daisies. Fifty years 
ago he learned that all this world could give was ashes, and 
he reached up and took the fruits of eternal life. You see 
his face is very white now. The crimson currents of life 
seem to have departed from it ; but under that extreme white- 
ness of the old man's face is the flash of the day-break. 

There is only one word in all our language that can de- 
scribe his feelings, and that is the word that slipped off the 
angel's harp above Bethlehem — peace! And so there are 
hundreds of souls who have felt tbis Almighty comfort. Their 
reputation was pursued; their health shattered; tbeir home 
was almost if not quite broken up ; their fortune went. Why 
do they not sit down and give it up. Ah, they have no disposi- 
tion to do that. They are saying while I speak: "It is my 
Father that mixes this bitter cup, and I will cheerfully drink 
it. Everything will be explained after awhile. I shall not 
always be under the harrow. There is something that makes 
me think I am almost home. ■ God will yet wipe away all 
tears from my eyes." So say these bereft parents. So 
say these motherless children. So say a great many to- 

Now, am I not right in trying to persuade all to give up 
ashes, and take bread, to give up the unsatisfactory things of 
this world, and take the glorious things of God and eternity? 
Why, if you kept this world as long as it lasts, you would 
have, after awhile, to give it up. There will be a great fire 
breaking out from the sides of the hills ; there will be falling 
flame and ascending flame, and in it the earth will be 
whelmed. Fires burning from within, out; fires burning 
from above, down; this earth will be a furnace, and then it 
will be a living coal, and then it will be an expiring ember, 
and the thick clouds of smoke will lessen and lessen until 
there will be only a faint vapor curling up from the ruins, 


and then the very last spark of the earth will go out. And I 
see two angels meeting each other over the gray pile, and as 
one flits past it, he cries, "Ashes!" and the other, as he 
sweeps down the immensity, will respond, "Ashes!" while 
all the infinite space will echo and re-echo, "Ashes! Ashes! 
Ashes!" God forbid that we should choose such a mean 

My fear is, not that you will not see the superiority of 
Christ to this world, but my fear is that through some dread- 
ful infatuation, you will relegate to the future that which 
God and angels, and churches militant and triumphant de- 
clare that you ought to do now. I do not say that you will 
go out of this world by the stroke of a horse's hoof, or that 
you will fall through a hatchway, or that a plank may slip 
from an insecure scaffolding and dash your life out, or that 
a bolt may fall on you from an August thunder-storm; but I 
do say that, in the vast majority of cases, your departure 
from the world will be wonderfully quick ; and I want you 
to start on the right road before that crisis has plunged. 

A Spaniard, in a burst of temper, slew a Moor. Then 
the Spaniard leaped over a high wall and met a gardener, 
and told him the whole story; and the gardener said: " I 
will make a pledge of confidence with you. Eat this peach 
and that will be a pledge that I will be your protector to the 
last." But, oh, the sorrow and surprise of the gardener 
when he found out that it was his own son that had been 
slain! Then he came to the Spaniard and said to him: "You 
were cruel, you ought to die, you slew my son, and yet I took 
a pledge with you, and I must keep my promise; and so he 
took the Spaniard to the stables and brought out the swiftest 
horse. The Spaniard sprang upon it and put many miles 
between him and the scene of crime, and perfect escape was 

We have, by our sins, slain the Son of God. Is there any 
possibility of our rescue? Oh, yes. God the Father says to 


us: "You had no business, by your sin, to slay my Son, 
Jesus; you ought to die, but I have promised you deliverance. 
I have made you the promise of eternal life, and you shall 
have it. Escape now for thy life." And to-night I act merely 
as the Lord's groom, and I bring you out to the King's sta- 
bles, and I tell you to be quick and mount, and away. In 
this plain you perish, but housed in God you live. Oh, you 
pursued and almost overtaken one, put on more speed. 
Fly ! fly ! lest the black horse outrun the white horse, and 
the battle-axe shiver the helmet and crash down through the 
insufficient mail. In this tremendous exigency of your im- 
mortal spirit beware, lest you prefer ashes to bread. 



With an insight into human nature such as no other man 
ever reached, Solomon sketches the mental operations of one 
who, having stepped aside from the path of rectitude, desires 
to return. With a wish for something better he said: 
"When shall I awake? When shall I come out of this horrid 
nightmare of iniquity?" But seized upon by uneradicated 
habit and forced down hill by bis passions, he cries out: "I 
will seek it yet again. I will try it once more." Our libra- 
ries are adorned with an elegant literature addressed to young 
men, pointing oxxt to them all the clangers and perils of life — 
complete maps of the voyage, showing all the rocks, the 
quicksands, the shoals. But suppose a man has already 
made shipwreck; suppose he is already off the track ; suppose 
he has already gone astray, how is he to get back? That is 
a field comparatively untouched. I propose to address this 
chapter to such. There are tbose in the world who, with 
every passion of their agonized soul, are ready to hear such 
a discussion. They compare themselves with what they were 
ten years ago, and cry out from the bondage in which they 
are incarcerated. Now, if there be any feeling they are 
beyond the pale of Christian sympathy, and that this subject 
can hardly be expected to address them, then, at this moment, 
I give them my right hand, and call them brother. Look 
up. There is glorious and triumphant hope for you yet. I 
sound the trumpet of gospel deliverance. The Church is 
ready to spread a banquet at your return, and the hierarchs 
of heaven to fall into line of bannered procession at the news 
of your emancipation. 



The first difficulty in the way of your return is the force 
of moral gravitation. Just as there is a natural law which 
brings down to the earth anything you throw into the 
air, so there is a corresponding moral gravitation. In other 
words, it is easier to go down than it is to go up; it is easier 
to do wrong than it is to do right. Call to mind the com- 
rades of your boyhood days — some of them good, some of 
them bad — which most affected you? Call to riling th3 
anecdotes that you have heard in the last five or ten years — 
some of them are pure and some of them impure. Which 
the more easily sticks to your memory"? During the years of 
your life you have formed certain courses of conduct — -some 
of them good, some of them bad. To which style of habit 
did you the more easily yield? Ah! my friends, we have to 
take but a moment of self -inspection to find out that there 
is in all our souls a force of moral gravitation. But that 
gravitation may be resisted. Just as you may pick up jrom 
the earth something and hold it in your hand toward heaven, 
just so, by the power of God's grace, a soul fallen may be 
lifted toward peace, toward pardon, toward heaven. Force 
of moral gravitation in every one of us, but power in God's 
grace to overcome that force of moral gravitation. 

The next thing in the way of your return is the power of 
evil habit. I know there are those who say it is very easy for 
them to give up evil habits. I do not believe them. Here is 
a man given to intoxication. He knows it is disgracing his 
family, destroying his property, ruining him, body, mind and 
soul. If that man, being an intelligent man, and loving his 
family, could easily give up that habit, would he not do so? 
The fact that he does not give it up proves it is hard to give 
it up. It is a very easy thing to sail down stream, the tide 
carrying you Avith great force ; but suppose you turn the boat 
up stream, is it so easy then to row it? As long as we yield 
to the evil inclinations in our hearts and our bad habits, we 
are sailing down stream ; but the moment we try to turn we 


put our boat in the rapids just above Niagara, and try to row 
up stream. 

Take a man given to the nabit of using tobacco, and let 
him resolve to stop, and he finds it very difficult. Twenty- 
one years ago I quit that habit, and I would as soon dare to 
put my right hand in the fire as once indulge in it. Why? 
Because it was such a terrific struggle to get over it. Now, 
let a man be advised by his physician to give up the use of 
tobacco. He goes around not knowing what to do with him- 
self. He cannot add up a line of figures. He cannot sleep 
nights. It seems as if the world had turned upside down. 
He feels his business is going to ruin. Where he was kind 
and obliging, he is scolding and fretful. The composure 
that characterized him has given way to a fretful restlessness, 
and he has become a complete fidget. What power is it that 
has rolled a wave of woe over the earth and shaken a portent 
in the heavens? He has tried to stop smoking! After awhile 
he says : "I am going to do as I please. The doctor doesn't 
understand my case. I'm going back to my old habit." And 
he returns. Everything assumes its usual composure. His 
business seems to brighten. The world becomes an attrac- 
tive place to live in. His children, seeing the difference, hail 
the return of their father's genial disposition. What wave 
of color has dashed blue into the sky, and greenness into the 
mountain foliage, and the glow of sapphire into the sunset? 
What enchantment has lifted a world of beauty and joy on 
his soul? He has gone back to smoking 

Oh ! the fact is, as we all know in our own experience, 
that a habit is a taskmaster; as long as we obey it it does 
not chastise us, but let us resist and we find that we are to 
be lashed with scorpion whips and bound with ship cable, 
and thrown into the track of stone-breaking juggernauts. 
During the war of 1812 there was a ship set on fire just above 
Niagara Falls, and then, cut loose from its moorings, it came 
on down through the night and tossed over the falls. It was 


said to have been a scene brilliant beyond all description. 
Well, there are thousands of men on fire of evil habit, com- 
ing down through the rapids and through the awful night of 
temptation toward the eternal plunge. Oh ! how hard it is 
to arrest them. Suppose a man after five, or ten, or twenty 
years of evil-doing, resolves to do right? Why, all the forces 
of darkness are allied against him. He cannot sleep nights. 
He gets down on his knees in the midnight and cries: "G-od 
help me!" He bites his lip. He grinds his teeth. He 
clinches his fist in a determination to keep his purpose. He 
dare not look at the bottles in the window of a wine store. 
It was one long, bitter, exhaustive, hand-to-hand fight with 
inflamed, tantalizing and merciless habit. When he thinks 
he is entirely free, the old inclinations pounce upon him like 
a pack of hounds with their muzzles tearing away at the 
flanks of one poor reindeer. In Paris there is a sculptured 
representation of Bacchus, the god of revelry. He is riding 
on a panther at full leap. Oh, how suggestive 1 Let every 
one who is speeding on bad ways understand he is not 
riding a docile and well-broken steed, but he is riding 
a monster, wild and bloodthirsty, going at a death leap. How 
many there arevwho resolve on a better life and say: "When 
shall I awake?" But seized on by their old habits, cry: "I 
will try it once more; I will seek it yet again!" 

Years ago there were some Princeton students who were 
skating and the ice was very thin, and some one warned 
the company back from the air-hole, and finally warned them 
to leave the place. But one young man with bravado, after 
all the rest had stopped, cried out: "One round more!" 
He swept around and went down, and was brought out a 
corpse. My friends, there are thousands and tens of thou- 
sands of men losing their souls in that way. It is the one 
round more. 

I have also to say that if a man wants to return from 
evil practices society repulses him. Desiring to reform, he 


says: "Now I will shake off my old associates, and I will 
find Christian companionship." And he appears at the 
church-door some Sabbath-day, and the usher greets him 
with a look, as much as to say: "Why, you here? You are 
the last man I ever expected to see at church ! Come take 
this seat right down by the door!" Instead of saying: Good 
morning. I am glad you are here. Come ; I will give you 
a first-rate seat right up by the pulpit." Well, the prodigal, 
not yet discouraged, enters a prayer-meeting, and some 
Christian man, with more zeal than common-sense, says: 
" Glad to see you. The dying thief was saved, and I suppose 
there is mercy for you!" The young man, disgusted, chilled, 
throws himself back on his dignity, resolved he never will 
enter the house of God again. Perhaps, not quite fully dis- 
couraged about reformation, he sidles up by some highly 
respectable man he used to know, going down the street, and 
immediately the respectable man has an errand down some 
other street. Well, the prodigal, wishing to return, takes 
some member of a Christian association by the hand, or tries 
to. The Christian young man looks at him, looks at the 
faded apparel and the marks of dissipation, and instead of 
giving him a warm grip of the hand, offers him the tip end 
of the long fingers of the left hand, which is equal to striking 
a man in the face. 

Oh, how few Christian people understand how much force 
and gospel there is in a good, honest hand-shaking! Some- 
times, when you felt the need of encouragement, and some 
Christian man has taken you heartily by the hand, have you 
not felt that thrilling through every fiber of your body, mind 
and soul, an encouragement that was just what you needed? 
You do not know anything at all about this unless you know 
when a man tries to return from evil courses of conduct he 
runs against repulsions innumerable. We say of some man, 
he lives a block or two from the church or half a mile from 
the church. There are people in our crowded cities who live 



a thousand miles from the church. Vast deserts of indiffer- 
ence between them and the house of God. The fact is, we 
must keep our respectability though thousands and tens of 
thousands perish. Christ sat with publicans and sinners. 
But if there came to the house of God a man with marks of 
dissipation upon him, people almost throw up their hands in 
horror, as much as to say: "Isn't it shocking?" How 
these dainty, fastidious Christians in all our churches are 
going to get into heaven I don't know, unless they have an 
especial train of cars, cushioned and upholstered, each one 
a car to himself! They can not go with the great herd of 
publicans and sinners. ye who curl your lip of scorn at 
the fallen, I tell you plainly, if you had been surrounded 
by the same influences, instead of sitting to-day amid the 
cultured, and the refined, and the Christian, you would have 
been a crouching wretch in stable or ditch, covered with filth 
and abomination ! It is not because you are naturally any 
better, but because the mercy of God has protected you. 
Who are you that, brought up in Christian circles and 
watched by Christian parentage, you should be so hard on 
the f aUen ? 

I think men also are often hindered from return by the 
fact that churches are too often anxious about their member- 
ship, and too anxious about their denomination, and they 
rush out when they see a man about to give up his sin and 
return to God, and ask him how he is going to be baptized, 
whether by sprinkling or immersion, and what kind of church 
he is going to join. Oh, my friends, it is a poor time to 
talk about Presbyterian catechisms, and Episcopal liturgies, 
and Methodist love-feasts, and baptistries, to a man that is 
coming out of the darkness of sin into the glorious light of 
the gospel. Why, it reminds me of a man drowning in the 
sea, and a life-boat puts out for him, and the man in the 
boat says to the man out of the boat: "Now, if I get you 
ashore, are you going to live in my street?" First get him 


ashore, and then talk about the non-essentials of religion. Who 
cares what Church he joins, if he only joins Christ and starts 
for heaven? 0, you ought to have, my brother, an illumined 
face, and a hearty grip for every one who tries to turn from 
his evil way. Take hold of the same book with him, though 
his dissipations shake the book, remembering that he that 
converteth a sinner from the error of his ways shall save a 
soul from death, and hide a multitude of sins. Now, I have 
shown you these obstacles because I want you to understand 
I know all the difficulties in the way; but I am now to tell 
you how Hannibal may scale the Alps, and how the shackles 
may be unriveted, and how the paths of virtue forsaken may 
be regained. 

First of all, throw yourself on God. Go to him frankly 
and earnestly, and tell him these habits you have, and ask 
him if there is any help in all the resources of omnipotent 
love, to give it to you. Do not go with a long rigmarole 
people call prayer, made up of "ohs" and "ahs" and "forever 
and forever aniens!" Go to God and cry for help! help! 
help! and if you can not cry for help just look and live. I 
remember in the late war I was at Antietam, and I went 
into the hospitals after the battle, and I said to a man : 
"Where are you hurt?" He made no answer, but held up 
his arm, swollen and splintered. I saw where he was hurt. 
The simple fact is, when a man has a wounded soul all he 
has to do is to hold it up before a sympathetic Lord and get 
it healed. It does not take any long prayer. Just hold up 
the wound. 0, it is no small thing when a man is nervous, 
and weak and exhausted, coming from his evil ways, to feel 
that God puts two omnipotent arms around about him and 
says: "Young man, I will stand by you. The mountains 
may depart and the hills be removed, but I will never fail 
you." And then, as the soul thinks the news is too good to 
be true, and can not believe it, and looks up in God's face, 
God lifts his right hand and takes an oath, an affidavit, say- 


ing: "As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in 
the death of him that dieth." Blessed be God for such a 
gospel as this ! 

"Cut the slices thin," said the wife to the husband, "or 
there will not be enough to go all around for the children ; 
cut the slices thin." Blessed be God, there is a full loaf for 
every one .that wants it; bread enough, and to spare. No 
thin slices at the Lord's table. I remember when the 
Master street Hospital, in Philadelphia, was opened, during 
the war, a telegram came sayiug: "There will be three 
hundred wounded men to-night; be ready to take care of 
them." And from my church there went in some twenty or 
thirty men and women to look after these poor wounded fel- 
lows. As they came, some from one part of the land, some 
from another, no one asked whether this man was from 
Oregon or Massachusetts, or from Minnesota or from New 
York. There was a wounded soldier, and the only question 
was how to take off the rags most gently and put on the 
bandage, and administer the cordial. And when a soul 
comes to God He does not ask whereTyou came from or what 
your ancestry was. Healing for all your wounds. Pardon 
for all your guilt. Comfort for all your troubles. 

Then, also, I counsel you, if you want to get back, to quit 
all your bad associations. One unholy intimacy will fill your 
soul with moral distemper. In all the ages of the Church 
there has not been an instance where a man kept one evil 
associate and was reformed. Among the fourteen hundred 
million of the race not one instance. Go home to-day, open 
your desk, take out letter paper, stamp and envelope, and 
then write a letter something like this : My old companions : 
I start this day for heaven. Until I am persuaded you will 
join me in this, farewell. Then sign your name and send 
the letter with the first post. Give up your bad companions, 
or give up heaven. It is not ten bad companions that destroy 
a man, nor five bad companions, nor three bad companions, 


but one. What chance is there for that young man I saw 
along the street, four or five young men with him, halting in 
front of a grogshop, urging him to go in, he resisting, 
violently resisting, until after awhile they forced him to go in ? 
It was a summer night, and the door was left open and I saw 
the process. They held him fast and they put the cup to his 
lips, and they forced down the strong drink. What chance 
is there for such a young man? 

I counsel you, also, seek Christian advice. Every Christian 
man is bound to help you. If you find no other human ear 
willing to listen to your story of struggle, come to me and I 
will, by every sympathy of my heart, and every prayer, and 
every toil of my hand, stand beside you in the struggle for 
reformation; and, as I hope to have my own sins forgiven, 
and hope to be acquitted at the judgment seat of Christ, I 
wiU not betray you. First of all, seek God, then seek 
Christian counsel. Gather up all the energies of body, mind 
and soul, and appealing to God for success, declare this day 
everlasting war against all drinking habits, all gaming 
practices, all houses of sin. Half-and-half work will amount 
to nothing; it must be a Waterloo. Shrink back now, and 
you are lost. Push on and you are saved. A Spartan Gen- 
eral fell at the very moment of victory, but he dipped his 
finger in his own blood and wrote on a rock near which he 
was dying: "Sparta has conquered.'' Though your struggle 
to get rid of sin may seem to be almost a death struggle, you 
can dip your finger in your own blood and write on the Eock 
of Ages: "Victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." 

0, what glorious news it would be for some of the young 
men of our cities to send home to their parents in the country 
these holidays which are coming. They go to the postoffice 
every day or two to see whether there are any letters from 
you. How anxious they are to hear! You might send them 
for a holiday present this season, a book from one of our 
best publishing houses, or a complete wardrobe from the 


importer's palace, but it would not please them half as much 
as the news you might send home to-morrow that you had 
given your heart to God. I know how it is in the country. 
The night comes on. The cattle stand under the rack 
through which burst the trusses of hay. The horses just 
having frisked up from the meadow at the nightfall, stand 
knee-deep in the bright straw that invites them to lie down 
and rest. The perch of the hovel is full of fowl, their feet 
warm under their feathers. In the old farm house at night 
no candle is lighted, for the flames clap their hands about 
the great black log, and shake the shadow of the group up 
and down the wall. Father and mother sit there for half an 
hour, saying nothing. I wonder what they are thinking of. 
After awhile the father breaks the silence and says: "Well, 
I wonder where our boy is in town to-night?" And the 
mother answers : "In no bad place, I warrant you ; we always 
could trust him when he was home, and since he has been 
away there have been so many prayers offered for him we 
can trust him still." Then at 8 o'clock — for they retire early 
in the country — they kneel down and commend you to that 
God who watches in country and in town, on the land and on 
the sea. 

Some one said to a Grecian general: "What was the 
proudest moment in your life ? " He thought a moment, and 
said: " The proudest moment in my life was when I 
sent word home to my parents that I had gained a victory. " 
And the proudest and most brilliant moment in your life will 
be the moment when you can send word to your parents that 
you have conquered your evil habits by the grace of God, 
and become eternal victor. Oh, despise not parental anxiety. 

The time will come when you will have neither father nor 
mother, and you will go around the place where they used to 
watch you, and find them gone from the house, and 
gone from the field, and gone from the neighborhood. Cry ' 
as loud for forgiveness as you may over the mound in the 


churchyard, they will not answer. Dead ! dead ! And then 
you will take out the white lock of hair that was cut from 
your mother's brow just before they buried her, and you will 
take the cane with which your father used to walk, and you 
will think and think and wish that you had done just as they 
wanted you to, and would give the world if you had never 
thrust a pang through their dear old hearts. God pity the 
young man who has brought disgrace on his father's name ! 
God pity the young man who has broken his mother's heart! 
Better if he had never been born — better if in the first hour 
of his life, instead of being laid against the warm bosom of 
maternal tenderness, he had been coffined and sepulchered. 
There is no balm powerful enough to heal the heart of one 
who has brought parents to a sorrowful grave, and who 
wanders about through the dismal cemetery, rending the 
hair, and wringing-the hands, and crying : " Mother ! Mother ! " 
Oh, that to-day, by all the memories of the past, and by all 
the hopes of the future, you would yield your heart to God. 
May your father's God and your mother's God be your God 
forever ! 



Naaman was a warrior sick, not with pleurisy, nor 
rheumatism, nor consumptions, but with a disease worse 
than all these put together; a red mark has come out on the 
forehead, precursor of complete disfigurement and dissolution. 
He, the commander-in-chief of all the Syrian forces, has the 
leprosy! It is on his hands, on his face, on his feet, on his 
entire person. The leprosy! Get out of the way of the 
pestilence! If his breath strikes you, you are a dead man. 
The Commander-in-chief of all the forces of Syria! And 
yet he would be glad to exchange conditions with the boy at 
his stirrup, or the hostler that blankets his charger. The 
news goes like wildfire all through the realm, and the people 
are sympathetic, and they cry out: "Is it possible that our 
great hero who shot Ahab, and around whom we came with 
such vociferation when he returned from victorious battle — 
can be possible that our grand and glorious Naaman has the 

Yes. Everybody has something he wishes he had not — 
David, an Absalom to disgrace him; Paul, a thorn to sting 
him; Job, carbuncles to plague him; Samson, a Delilah to 
shear him; Ahab, aNaboth to deny him; Haman, a Mordeoai 
to irritate him; George Washington, childishness to afflict 
him; John Wesley, a termagant wife to pester him; Leah, 
weak eyes; Pope, a crooked back; Byron, a club foot; John 
Milton, blind eyes; Charles Lamb, an insane sister; and you, 
something which you never bargained for and would like to 
■^et rid of. The reason of this is that God does not want 




this world to be too bright; otherwise, we would always want 
to stay, and eat these fruits, and lie on these lounges, and 
shake hands in this pleasant society. We are only in the 

vestibule of a grand temple. God does not want us to stay 
on the doorstep, and therefore he sends aches and annoy- 
ances and sorrows and bereavements of all sorts to push us 
on, and push us up toward riper fruits and brighter society 

532 LEPERS. 

and more radiant prosperities. God is only whipping us 
ahead. The reason that Edward Payson and Eobert Hall 
had more rapturous views of heaven than other people had 
was because, through their aches and pains, God pushed 
them nearer up to it. If God dashes out one of your pic- 
tures, it is only to show you a brighter one. If he sting your 
foot with gout, your brain with neuralgia, your tongue with 
an inextinguishable thirst, it is only because he is preparing 
to substitute a better body than you ever dreamed of, when 
the mortal shall put on immortality. It is to push you on, 
and push you up toward something grander and better, that 
God sends upon you as he did upon Naaman, something you 
do not want. Seated in his Syrian mansion — all the walls 
glittering with the shields which he had captured in battle; 
the corridors crowded with admiring visitors who just wanted 
to see him once ; music and mirth, and banqueting filling 
all the mansion, from tesselated floor to pictured ceiling — 
Naaman would have forgotten that there was anything bet- 
ter, and would have been glad to stay there ten thousand 
years. But oh, how the shields dim, and how the visitors 
fly from the hall, and how the music drops dead from the 
string, and how the gates of the mansion slam shut with 
sepulchral bang, as you read the closing words of the eulo- 
gium: "He was a leper! He was a leper!" 

There was one person more sympathetic with General 
Naaman than any other person. Naaman' s wife walks the 
floor, wringing her hands and trying to think what she can 
do to. alleviate her husband's sufferings. All remedies have 
failed. The surgeon general and the doctors of the royal 
staff have met, and they have shaken their heads as much as 
to say: "No cure; no cure." I think that the office-seekers 
had all folded up their recommendations and gone home. 
Probably most of the employes of the establishment had 
dropped their work and were thinking of looking for some 
other situation. What shall now become of poor Naaman's 

LEPERS. 533 

wife? She must have sympathy somewhere. In her des- 
pair she goes to a little Hebrew captive, a servant girl in her 
house, to whom she tells the whole story; as sometimes, 
when overborne with the sorrows of the world, and finding 
no sympathy anywhere else, you have gone out and found in 
the sympathy of some humble domestic — Eose, or Dinah, or 
Bridget - -a help which the world could not give you. 

What a scene it was! One of the grandest women in all 
Syria in cabinet council with a waiting maid over the declin- 
ing health of the mighty General ! 

"I know something," says the little captive maid, "I 
know something," as she bounds to ber bare feet. "In the 
land from which I was stolen there is a certain prophet 
known by the name of Elisha, who can cure almost every- 
thing, audi shouldn't wonder if he could cure my master. 
Send for him right away." "Oh, hush!" you say. "If the 
highest medical talent in all the land cannot cure that leper, 
there is no need of your listening to any talk of a servant 

But do not scoff, do not sneer. The finger of that little 
captive maid is pointing in the right direction. She might 
have said- "This is a judgment on you for stealing me 
away from my native land. Didn't they snatch me off in the 
night, breaking my father's and mother's heart? And many 
a time I have laid and cried all night because I was so home- 

Then flushing up into childish indignation she might have 
said: "Good for them; I'm glad Naaman's got the leprosy; 
I wish all the Syrians had the leprosy." No. Forgetting 
her own personal sorrows, she sympathizes with the suffer- 
ing of her master and recommends him to the famous He- 
brew prophet. And how often it is that the finger of child- 
hood has pointed grown persons in the right direction. 0, 
Christian soul, how long is it since you got rid of the leprosy 
of sin? You say: "Let me see. It must be five years now." 

534 LEPEBS. 

"Five years. Who was it that pointed you to the divine 
physician?" "Oh," you say, "it was my little Annie, or 
Fred, or Charley, that clambered upon my knees and looked 
in my face and asked me why I didn't become a Christian, 
and all the time stroking my cheek so I couldn't get angry, 
insisted upon knowing why I didn't have family prayers." 

There are many grandparents who have been brought to 
Christ by their little grandchildren. There are many Christian 
mothers who had their attention first called to Jesus by their 
little children. How did you get rid of the leprosy of sin? 
How did you find your way to the divine physician ? "Oh," 
you say, "my child, my dying child, with wan and wasted 
finger pointed that way! Oh, 1 shall never forget that scene 
at the cradle and the crib that awful night! It was hard, 
hard, very hard; but if that little one on its dying bed had 
not pointed me to Christ, I don't think I ever would have 
got rid of my leprosy. " 

Co into our Sabbath-schools and you will find hundreds 
of little fingers pointing in the same direction, toward Jesus 
Christ and toward heaven. Years ago the astronomers cal- 
culated that there must be a world hanging at a certain point 
in the heavens, and a large prize was offered for some one 
who could discover that world. The telescopes from the great 
observatories were pointed in vain, but a girl at Nantucket, 
Mass., fashioned a telescope, and, looking through it, dis- 
covered that star, and won the prize and the admiration of 
all the astronomical world, that stood amazed at her genius. 
And so it is often the case that grown people cannot see the 
light, while some little child beholds the star of pardon, the 
star of hope, the star of consolation, the star of Bethlehem, 
the morning star of Jesus. "Not many mighty men, not 
many wise men are called; but God hath chosen the weak 
things of the world to confound the mighty; and base things 
and things that are not, to bring to naught things that are." 

Oh, do not despise the prattle of little children when they 

LEPERS. 535 

are speaking about God and Christ and heaven! You see 
the way your child is pointing; will you take that pointing 
or wait until in the Avrench of some awful bereavement God 
shall lift that child to another world, and then it will beckon 
you upward? Will you take the pointing or will you wait 
for the beckoning'? Blessed be God that the little Hebrew 
captive pointed in the right direction ! Blessed be God for 
the saving ministry of Christian children ! No wonder the 
advice of this little Hebrew captive threw all Naaman's man- 
sion and Ben-hadad's palace into excitement. Good-bye. 
Naaman ! With face scarified and ridged, and inflamed by 
the pestilence, and aided by those who supported him on 
either side, he staggers out to the chariot. Hold fast the 
fiery coursers of the royal stable while the poor sick man lifts 
his swollen feet and pain-struck limbs into the vehicle. Bol- 
ster him up with the pillows, and let him take a lingering 
look at his bright apartment, for perhaps the Hebrew captive 
may be mistaken, and the next time Naaman comes to that 
place he may be a dead weight on the shoulders of those who 
carry him — an expired chieftain seeking sepulture amid the 
lamentations of an admiring nation. Good-bye, Naaman! 
Let the charioteer drive gently over the hills of Hermon lest 
he jolt the invalid. Here goes the bravest man of all his 
day, a captive of a horrible disease. As the ambulance winds 
through the streets of Damascus the tears and prayers of all 
the people go after the world-renowned invalid. Perhaps 
you have had an invalid go out from your house on a health 
excursion. You know how the neighbors stood around and 
said. "Ah! he will never come back again alive!" 

Oh, it was a solemn moment, I tell you, when the invalid 
had departed, and you went into the room to make the bed, 
and to remove the medicine phials from the shelf, and to 
throw open the shutters so that the fresh air might rush into 
the lcng-closed room. Good-bye, Naaman. There is only 
one cheerful face looking at him, and that is the face of the 

536 LEPEES. 

little Hebrew captive, who is sure he will get cured, and who 
is so glad she helped him. As the chariot winds out, and 
the escort of mounted courtiers, and the mules laden with 
sacks of gold and silver and embroidered suits of apparel 
went through the gates of Damascus, and out on the long 
way, the hills of Napthali and Ephraim look down on the 
procession, and the retinue goes right past the battle-fields 
where Naaman, in the days of his health, used to rally his 
troops for fearful onset ; and then the procession stops and 
reclines awhile in the groves of olives and oleander, and 
Gen. Naaman so sick — and so very, very sick. 

How the countrymen gaped as the procession passed; 
They had seen Naaman go past like a whirlwind in days gone 
by, and had stood aghast at the clank of his war equipments ; 
but now they commiserate him. They say: "Poor man, he 
will never get home alive! Poor man!" Gen. Naaman 
wakes up from a restless sleep in the chariot, and he says to 
the charioteer: "How long before we shall reach this Prophet 
Elisha's?" The charioteer says to a waysider: "How far 
is it to Elisha's house?" He says: "Two miles." Then 
they whip up the lathered and fagged-out horses. The whole 
procession brightens up at the prospect of speedy arrival. 
They drive up to the door of the prophet. The charioteers 
shout "Whoa!" to the horses, and the tramping hoofs and 
grinding wheels cease shaking the earth. 

Come out, Elisha, come out; you have company; the 
grandest company that ever came to your house has come to 
it now. No stir inside Elisha's house. The fact was, the 
Lord had informed Elisha that the sick captain was coming 
and just how to treat him. Indeed, when you are sick and 
the Lord wants you to get well, he always tells the doctor how 
to treat you; and the reason we have so many bungling 
doctors is because they depend upon their own strength and 
instructions and not on the Lord God, and that always makes 
malpractice. Come out, Elisha, and attend to your business. 

LEPERS. 537 

Gen. Naarnan and his retinue waited, and waited, and waited* 
The fact was, Naarnan had two diseases — pride and leprosy; 
the one was as hard to get rid of as the other. Elisha sits 
quietly in his house and does not go out. After awhile, 
when he thinks he has humbled this proud man, he says to 
a servant: "Go out and tell Gen. Naarnan to bathe seven 
times in the Kiver Jordan, out yonder five miles, and he will 
get entirely well." The messenger comes out: "What!" 
says the commander-in-chief of the Syrian forces, his eyes 
kindling with an animation which it had not shown for 
weeks, and his swollen foot stamping on the bottom of the 
chariot, regardless of pain: "What! Isn't he coming out to 
see me? Why, I thought certainly he would come and utter 
some cabalistic words over me or make some enigmatical 
passes over my wounds. Why, I don't think he knows who 
I am. Isn't he coming out? Why, when the Shunannite 
woman came to him he rushed out and cried: 'Is it well with 
thee? Is it well with thy husband? Is it well with the 
child?' And will he treat a poor unknown woman like that, 
and let me, a titled personage, sit here in my chariot and wait 
and wait? I won't endure it any longer. Charioteer, drive 
on ! Wash in the Jordan ! Ha ! ha ! The slimy Jordan — 
the muddy Jordan -the. monotonous Jordan. I wouldn't be 
seen washing in such a river as that. Why, we watered our 
horses in a better river than that on our way here. The 
beautiful river, the jasper-paved river of Pharpar. Besides 
that, we have in our country another Damascene river, Abana, 
with foliaged bank and torrent ever swift and ever clear, 
under the flickering shadows of sycamore and oleander. Are 
not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all 
the waters of Israel?" 

I suppose Naarnan felt very much as we would feel if, by 
way of medical prescription, some one should tell us to go 
and wash in the Danube or the Rhine. We would answer: 
"Are not the Connecticut or the Hudson just as good?" Or, 

538 LEPERS. 

as an Englishman would feel if he were told, by way of 
medical prescription, he must go and wash in the Mississippi 
or St. Lawrence. He would cry out: "Are not the Thames 
and the Shannon just as well?" 

The fact was that haughty Naaman needed to learn what 
every Englishman and every American needs to learn— that 
when God tells you to do a thing, you must go and do it, 
whether you understand the reason or not. Take the pre- 
scription, whether you like it or not. One thing is certain: 
Unless haughty Naaman does as Elisha commands him, he 
will die of his awful sickness. And unless you do as Christ 
commands you, you will be seized upon by an everlasting 
wasting away. Obey and live — disobey and die. Thrilling, 
over-arching, under-girding, stupendous alternative! 

Well, Gen. Naaman could not stand the test. The 
charioteer gives a jerk to the right line until the bit snaps in 
the horse's mouth, and the whirr of the wheels and the flying 
of the dust show the indignation of the great commander. 
"He turned and went away in a rage." So people now often 
get mad at religion. They vituperate against ministers, 
against churches, against Christian people. One would think 
from their irate behavior that God had been studying how to 
annoy and exasperate and demolish, them. What has He 
been doing? Only trying to cure their death-dealing leprosy? 
That is all. Yet they whip up their horses, they dig in the 
spurs, and they go away in a rage. 

So, after all, it seems that this health excursion of Gen. 
Naaman is to be a dead failure. That little Hebrew captive 
might as well have not told him of the prophet, and this long 
journey might as well not have been taken. Poor, sick, dying 
Naaman ! are you going away in high dudgeon and worse 
than when you came? As his chariot halts a moment his 
servants clamber up in it and coax him to do as Elisha said. 
They say: "It's easy. If the prophet had told yoii to walk 
for a mile on sharp spikes in order to get rid of this awful 

LEPEES. 539 

disease you would have done it. It is easy. Come, my lord, 
just get down and wash in the Jordan. You take a bath 
every day, anyhow, and in this climate, it is so hot that it 
will do you good. Do it on our account and for the sake of 
the army you command, and for the sake of the nation that 
admires you. Come, my lord, just try this Jordanic bath." 
"Well," he says, "to please you I will do as you say." 

The retinue drive to the brink of the Jordan. The horses 
paw and neigh to get into the stream, themselves and cool 
their hot flanks. Gen. Naaman, assisted by his attendants, 
gets down out of his chariot and painfully comes to the brink 
of the river, and steps in until the water comes to the ankle, 
and goes on deeper until the water comes to the girdle, and 
now standing so far down in the stream, just a little inclina- 
tion of the head will thoroughly immerse him. He bows once 
into the flood, and comes up and shakes the water out of his 
nostrils and eyes, and his attendants look at him, and say: 

"Why, General, how much better you do look." And he 
bows a second time into the flood and comes up, and the 
wild stare is gone out of his eye. He bows a third time into 
the flood and comes up, and his shriveled flesh has got smooth 
again. He bows the fourth time into the flood and comes 
up, and the hay* that had fallen out is restored in thick locks 
again all over the brow. He bows the fifth time into the 
flood and comes up, and the hoarseness has gone out of his 
throat. He bows the sixth time and comes up, and all the 
soreness and anguish have gone out of the limbs. "Why," 
he says, "I am almost well, but I will make a complete cure," 
and he bows the seventh time into the flood, and he comes 
up, and not so much as a fester, or scale, or an eruption as 
big as the head of a pin is to be seen on him. He steps out 
on the bank and says: "Is it possible?" And the attendants 
look and say: "Is it possible?" And as, with the health of 
an athlete, he bounds back into the chariot and drives on, 
there goes up from all his attendants a wild "Hussa! huzza!" 

540 LEPERS. 

Of course they go back to pay and thank the man of God for 
his counsel so fraught with wisdom. When they left the 
prophet's house they went off mad; they have come back 

People always think better of a minister after they are 
converted than they do before conversion. Now, we are to 
them an intolerable nuisance because we tell them to do 
things that go against the grain ; but some of us have a great 
many letters from those who tell us that once they were 
angry at what we preached, but afterward gladly received 
the gospel at our hands. They once called us fanatics or 
terrorists of enemies; now they call us friends. I know a 
man — I speak a literal fact — who said that he would never 
come into my church again. He said: "My family shall 
never come again if such doctrines as that are preached.'' 

But he came again, and his family came again. He is a 
Christian, his wife a Christian, all his children Christians, 
the whole household Christian, and I shall dwell with them 
in the house of the Lord forever. Our undying coadjutors 
are those who once heard the gospel and "went away in a. 

Now, my readers, you notice that this Gen. Naaman did 
two things in order to get well. The first was — he got out 
of his chariot. He might have staid there with his swollen 
feet on the stuffed ottoman, seated on that embroidered 
cushion, until his last gasp, and he would never have got 
any relief. He had to get down out of his chariot. And you 
have got to get down out of the chariot of your pride if you 
ever become a Christian. You can not drive up to the cross 
with a coach and-four, and be saved among all the spangles. 
You seem to think that the Lord is going to be complimented 
by your coming. Oh, no: you poor, miserable, scaly, lep- 
rous sinner, get down out of that! We all come in the same 
naughty way. We expect to ride in the kingdom of God. 
Never until we get down on our knees will we find mercy. 

LEPEES. 541 

The Lord has unhorsed us, uncharioted us. Get down out 
of your self-righteousness and your hypercriticism. We 
have all got to do that. That is the journey we have got to 
make on our knees. It is our infernal pride that keeps us 
from getting rid of the leprosy of sin. Dear Lord, what 
have "we to be proud of? Proud of our scales? Proud of our 
uncleanness? Proud of this killing infection? Bring us 
down at thy feet, weeping, praying, penitent, believing sup- 
plicants ! 

But he had not only to get down out of his chariot. He 
had to wash. "Oh," you say, "I am very careful of my 
ablutions. Every day I plunge into a bright and beautiful 
bath." Ah, there is a flood brighter than any other. It is 
the flood that breaks from the granite of the eternal hills. It 
is the flood of pardon, and peace, and life, and heaven. 
That flood started in the tears of Christ and the sweat of 
Gethsemane, and rolled on, accumulating flood, until all 
earth and heaven could bathe in it. Zechariah called it the 
"fountain open for sin and uncleanness." William Cowper 
called it the "fountain filled with blood." Your fathers and 
mothers washed all their sins and sorrows away in that 
fountain. Oh, dear reader, do you not feel to-day like 
wading into it? Wade down now into this glorious flood, 
deeper, deeper, deeper. Plunge once, twice, thrice, four 
times, five times, six times, seven times. It will take as 
much as that to cure your soul. Oh, wash, wash, wash, and 
be clean ! 

I suppose that was a great time at Damascus when Gen- 
eral Naaman got back. The charioteers did not have to 
drive slowly any longer, lest they jolt the invalid; but as the 
horses dashed through the streets of Damascus I think the 
people rushed out to hail back their chieftain. Naaman's 
wife hardly recognized her husband. He was so wonderfully 
changed she had to look at him two or three times before she 
made out that he was her restored husband. And the little 

542 LEPERS. 

captive maid, she rushed out, clapping her hands, and shout- 
ing: "Did he cure you? Did he cure you?" Then music 
woke up the palace, and the tapestry of the windows was 
drawn away, that the multitudes outside might mingle with 
the princely mirth inside ; and the feet went up and down in 
the dance, and all the streets in Damascus that night echoed 
and re-echoed with the news: "Naaman's cured! Naaman's 
cured!" But a gladder tune than that it would be wherever 
this chapter shall be read, if the soul should get cured of its 
leprosy. The swiftest white horse hitched to the King's 
chariot would rush the news in the eternal city. Our loved 
ones before the throne would welcome the glad tidings. 
Your children on earth with more emotion than the little 
Hebrew captive would notice the change in your look, and the 
change in your manuer, and would put their arms around 
your neck and say: "Mother, I guess you must have become 
a Christian. Father, I think you have got rid of the lep- 
rosy." Oh, Lord God of Elisha; have mercy on us! 




Never off Goodwin Sands, or the Skerries, or Cape Hat- 
teras was a ship in worse predicament than in the Mediterra- 
nean hurricane was the grain ship, on which two hundred 
and seventy-six passengers were driven on the coast of Malta, 
five miles from the metropolis of that island called Civita 
Vecchia. After a two weeks' tempest and the ship was en- 
tirely disabled, and captain and crew had become completely 
demoralized, an old missionary took command of the vessel. 
He was small, crooked- backed and sore-eyed, according to 
tradition. It was Paul, the only unscared man aboard. He 
was no more afraid of a Euroclydon tossing the Mediteran- 
ean Sea, now up to the gates of heaven and now sinking it 
to the gates of hell, than he was afraid of a kitten playing 
with a string. He ordered them all down to take their 
rations, first asking for them a blessing. Then he insured 
all their lives, telling them they would be rescued, and, so 
far from losing their heads, they would not lose so much 
of their hair as you could cut off with one click of the 
scissors; aye, not a thread of it, whether it were gray with 
age or golden with youth. " There shall not a hair fall from 
the head of any of you." 

Knowing that they can never get to the desired port, 
they make the sea, on the fourteenth night black with over- 
thrown cargo, so that when the ship strikes it will not strike 
so heavily. At daybreak they saw a creek, and in their 
exigency resolved to make for it. And so they cut the cables, 
took in the two paddles that they had on these old boats, and 



hoisted the main sail so that they might come with such 
force as to be driven high upon the beach by some fortunate 
billow. There she goes — tumbling toward the rock, now 
prow foremost, now stern foremost, now rolling over to the 
starboard, now a wave dashes clear over the deck, and it 
seems as if the old craft has gone forever. But up she comes 
again. Paul's arm around a mast, he cries: "All is well! 
God has given me all those that sail with me." 

Crash went the prow with such force that it broke off 
the mast. Crash went the timbers till the sea rushed 
through from side to side of the vessel. She parts amid- 
ships, and into a thousand fragments, and into the waves 
two hundred and seventy-six mortals are precipitated. 
Some of them had been brought up on the seashore and had 
learned to swim, and with their chins just above the waves, 
and by stroke of both arms and propulsion of both feet, they 
put out for the beach and reach it. But, alas! for those 
others. They have never learned to swim, or they were 
wounded by the falling of the mast, or the nervous shock 
was too great for them. And others had been weakened by 
the long sea-sicknesses. 

Oh, what will become of them? "Take that piece of 
a rudder," says Paul to one. "Take that fragment of a spar," 
says Paul to another. "Take that table." "Take thatimage 
of Castor and Pollux." Take that plank from the lifeboat." 
"Take anything and head for the beach." What a struggle 
for life in the breakers! Oh, the merciless waters, how they 
sweep over the heads of men, women and children! Hold 
on there! Almost ashore, keep up your courage ! Kemember 
what Paul told you. There, the receding wave on the beach 
leaves in the sand a whole family. There crawls up out of 
the surf the centurion. There another piece of the shattered 
vessel with its freightage of an immortal soul. They must 
by this time all be saved. Yes; there comes in last of all, 
for he had been overseeing the rest, the old missionary, who 


wrings the water from his gray heard, and cries out: "Thank 
God, all are here!" 

Gather them around the fire and call the roll. Paid 
builds a fire, and when the bandies of sticks begin to crackle, 
and, standing and sitting around the blaze, the passengers 
begin to recover from their chill, and their wet clothes begin 
to dry, and warmth begins to come into all the shivering 
passengers, let the purser of the vessel go round and see if 
any of the poor creatures are missing. Not one of the crowd 
that were plunged into the sea. How it relieves our anxiety 
as we read the story: Some on broken pieces of the ship, 
and so it came to pass they all escaped safe to land. 

There is something about those who came in on broken 
pieces of the ship that excites in me an intense interest. 
I am not so much interested in those that could swim. 
They got ashore, as I expected. A mile of water is not 
a very great undertaking for a strong swimmer, or even 
two miles are not. But I cannot stop thinking about those 
on broken pieces of the ship. The great gospel ship is 
the finest vessel of the universe, and can carry more passen- 
gers than any ship ever constructed, and you could no more 
wreck it than you could wreck the throne of God Almigbty. 
I wish all the people would come aboard of her. I coidd 
not promise a smooth voyage, for ofttimes it will be tempest- 
uous, or a chopped sea, but I could promise safe arrival for 
all who took passage on that Great Eastern, so-called by me 
because its commander came out of the East, the star of the 
East a badge of his authority But a vast multitude do not 
take regular passage. Their theology is broken in pieces, and 
their lives are broken in pieces, and their habits are broken 
in pieces, and their worldly and spiritual prospects are broken 
in pieces, and yet I believe they are going to reach the shining 
shore, and I am encouraged by the experience of those people 
who came in on some broken pieces of the ship. 

One object I have in this chapter is to encourage all those 


who can not take the whole system of religion as we helieve 
it, but who really believe something, to come ashore on that 
one plank. I do not underrate the value of a great theolog- 
ical system, but where in all the Bible is there anything that 
says: Believe in John Calvin and thou shalt be saved, or 
believe in Arminius and thou shalt be saved, or believe in 
the Synod of Dort and thou shalt be saved, or believe in the 
Thirty-nine Articles and thou shalt be saved? A man may 
be orthodox and go to hell, or heterodox and go to heaven. 
The man who, in the deep affection of his heart, accepts 
Christ is saved, and the man who does not accept him is lost. 
I believe in both the Heidelberg and Westminster catechisms, 
and I wish you all did, but you may believe in nothing they 
contain except the one idea that Christ came to save sinners, 
and that you are one of them, and you are instantly rescued. 
If you can come in the grand old ship, I would rather have 
you get aboard, but if you can find only a piece of wood as 
long as the human body or a piece as wide as the outspread 
human arms, and either of them is a piece of the cross, 
come in on that piece. Tens of thousands of people are to- 
day kept out of the kingdom of God because they can not 
believe everything. 

I am talking with a man thoughtful about his soul who 
has lately traveled through New England and passed the 
night at Andover. He says to me: "I can not believe that 
in this life the destiny is irrevocably fixed ; I think there will 
be another opportunity of repentance after death." I say to 
him: " My brother, what has that to do with you? Don't 
you realize that the man who waits for another chance after 
death when he has a good chance before death is a stark 
fool? Had not you better take the plank that is thrown to 
you now and head for the shore, rather than wait for a plank 
that may by invisible hands be thrown to you after you are 
dead? Do as you please, but as for myself, with pardon for 
all my sins offered me now, and all the joys of time and 


eternity offered rne now, I instantly take them rather than 
run the risk of such other chance as wise men think they 
can peel off or twist out of a scripture passage that has for 
all the Christian centuries been interpreted another way." 

You say: "I do not like Princeton theology, or New 
Haven theology, or Andover theology." I do not ask you on 
board either of these great men-of-war, their port-holes 
filled with great siege-guns of ecclesiastical battle. But I 
do ask you to take the one plank of the Gospel that you do 
believe in and strike out for the pearl-strung beach of heaven. 

Says some other man : "I would attend to religion if I 
was quite sure about the doctrine of election and free 
agency, but that mixes me all up." Those things used to 
bother me, but I have no more perplexity about them, for I 
say to myself: "If I love Christ and live a good, honest, 
useful life, I am elected to be saved; and if I do not love 
Christ and live a bad life, I will be damned, and all the 
theological seminaries of the universe can not make it any 
different." I floundered a long while in the sea of sin and 
doubt, and it was as rough as the Mediterranean on the four- 
teenth night, when they threw the grain overboard, but I saw 
there was mercy for a sinner, and that plank I took, and I 
have been warming myself by the bright fire on the shore 
for three decades. 

While I am talking to another man about his soul he tells 
me: " I do not become a Christian because I do not believe 
there is any hell at all." Ah! don't you? Do all the people, 
of all beliefs and no belief at all, of good morals and bad 
morals, go straight to a happy heaven? Do the holy and the 
debauched have the same destination? At midnight in a 
hallway the owner of a house and a burglar meet each other, 
and they both fire, and both are wounded, but the burglar 
died in five minutes and the owner of the house lives a week 
after; will the burglar be at the gate of heaven waiting when 
the house-owner comes in? Will the debauchee and the 


libertine go right in among the families of heaven? I 
wonder if Herod is playing on the banks of the Eiver of 
Life -with the children he massacred. I wonder if Charles 
Guiteau or John Wilkes Booth are tip there shooting at a 
mark. I do not now controvert it, although I must say that 
for such a miserable heaven I have no admiration. But the 
Bible does not say, "Believe in perdition and be saved." 
Because all are saved, according to your theory, that ought 
not to keep you from loving and serving Christ. Do not 
refuse to come ashore because all the others, according to 
your theory, are going to get ashore. You may have a differ- 
ent theory about chemistry, about astronomy, about the 
atmosphere, from that which others adopt, but you are not 
therefore hindered from action. Because your theory of light 
is different from others, do not refuse to open your eyes. 
Because your theory of air is different you do not refuse to 
breathe. Because your theory about the stellar system is 
different, you do not refuse to acknowledge the North Star. 
Why should the fact that your theological theories are differ- 
ent hinder you from acting upon what you know? If you 
have not a whole ship fashioned in the theological dry docks 
to bring you to wharfage, you have at least a plank. 

"But I don't believe in revivals!" Then go to your room, 
and all alone with your door locked give your heart to God 
and join some Church where the thermometer never gets 
higher than fifty in the shade. "But I do not believe in 
baptism!" Come in without it, and settle that matter after- 
ward. "But there are so many inconsistent Christians!" 
Then come in and show them by a good example how pro- 
fessors ought to act. "But I don't believe in the Old Testa- 
ment!" Then come in on the New. "But I don't like the 
Book of Romans!" Then come in on Matthew or Luke. 
Refusing to come to Christ, whom you admit to be the 
Saviour of the lost, because you can not admit other things 
you are like a man out there in that Mediterranean tempest 


and tossed in the Melita breakers, refusing to come ashore 
until he can mend the pieces of the broken ship. I hear 
him say: "I won't go in on any of these planks until I 
know in what part of the ship they belong. When I can 
get the windlass in the right place, and the sails set, and 
that keel-piece where it belongs, and that floor timber right, 
and these ropes untangled, I will go ashore. I am an old 
sailor and know all about ships for forty years, and as soon 
as I can get the vessel afloat in good shape I will come in." 

A man drifting by on a piece of wood overhears him and 
says: "You will drown before you get that ship recon- 
structed. Better do as I am doing. I know nothing about 
ships, and never saw one before I came on board this, and I 
can not swim a stroke, but I am going ashore on this shivered 
timber." The man in the offing while trying to mend his 
ship goes down. The man who trusted to the plank is 
saved. 0, my brother, let your smashed-up system of theol- 
ogy go to the bottom while you come in on a splintered spar! 

You may get all your difficulties settled, as Garibaldi, the 
megnetic Italian, got his gardens made. When the war 
between Austria and Sardinia broke out he was living at 
Caprera, a very rough and uncultured island home. But he 
went forth with his sword to achieve the liberation of Naples 
and Sicily, and gave nine million people free government 
under Victor Emmanuel. Garibaldi, after being absent two 
years from Caprera, returned, and, when he approached it, 
he found that his home had, by Victor Emmanuel, as a sur- 
prise, been Edenized. Trimmed sbrubbery had taken the 
place of thorny thickets, gardens the place of barrenness, 
and the old rookery in which he once lived had given way to 
a pictured mansion, where he lived in comfort the rest of his 
days. And I tell you if you will come and enlist under the 
banner of our Victor Emmanuel, and follow him through 
thick and thin, and fight his battles, and endure his sacri- 
fices, you will find after awhile that he has changed your 


heart from a jungle of thorny skepticisms into a garden all 
a-bloom with luxuriant joy that you have never dreamt of. 
From a tangled Caprera of sadness into a paradise of God ! 

I do not know how your theological system went to pieces. 
It may be that your parents started you with only one plank, 
and you believe little or nothing. Or they may have been 
too rigid and severe in religious discipline and cracked you 
over the head with a psalm-book. It may be that some 
partner in business who was a member of an evangelical 
church played on you a trick that disgusted you with relig- 
ion. It may be that you have associates who have talked 
against Christianity in your presence until you are "all at 
sea," and you dwell more on things that you do not believe 
than on things you do believe. You are in one respect like 
Lord Nelson, when a signal was lifted that he wished to dis- 
regard and he put his sea-glass to his blind eye and said: 
"I really do not see the signal." 0, put this field-glass of 
the Gospel no longer to your blind eye and say I can not see, 
but put it to your other eye, the eye of faith, and you will 
see Christ, and he is all you need to see. 

If you can believe nothing else, you certainly believe in 
vicarious suffering, for you see it almost every day in some 
shape. Some time ago the steamship Knickerbocker, of the 
Cromwell Line, running between New Orleans and New 
York, was in great storms, and the captain and crew saw the 
schooner Mary D. Cranmer, of Philadelphia, in distress. 
The weather cold, the waves mountain high, the first officer 
of the steamship and four men put out in a lifeboat to save 
the crew of the schooner, and reached the vessel and towed 
it out of danger, the wind shifting so that the schooner was 
saved. But the five men of the steamship coming back, 
their boat capsized, yet righted again and came on, the 
sailors coated with ice. The boat capsized again, and three 
times upset and was righted, and a line was thrown the poor 
fellows, but their hands and arms were frozen so they could 


not grasp it, and a great wave rolled over tbern, and they 
went down, never to rise till the sea gives up its dead. 
Appreciate that heroism and self-sacrifice of the brave fel- 
lows we all can, and can we not appreciate the Christ who 
put out in a more biting cold and into a more overwhelming 
surge to bring us out of infinite peril into everlasting safety? 
The wave of human hate rolled over him from one side, and 
the wave of hellish fury rolled over him on the other side. 
Oh, the thickness of the night and the thunder of the 
tempest into which Christ plunged for our rescue! 

Come in on that one narrow beam, the heam of the cross. 
Let all else go and cling to that. Put that under you, and 
with the earnestness of a swimmer struggling for his life put 
out for shore. There is a great warm fire of welcome already 
built, and already many who were as far out as you are, are 
standing in its genial and heavenly glow. The angels of 
God's rescue are wading out into the surf to clutch your 
hand, and they know how exhausted you are, and all the re- 
deemed prodigals of heaven are on the beach with new white 
robes to clothe all those who come in on broken pieces of the 
ship. My sympathies are for such all the more because I was 
naturally skeptical, disposed to question everything about 
this life and the next, and was in danger of being further out 
to sea than any of the two hundred and seventy-six in the 
Mediterranean breakers, and I was sometimes the annoyance 
of my theological professor because I asked so many ques- 
tions. But I came in on a plank. I knew Christ was the 
Saviour of sinners, and that I was a sinner, and I got ashore, 
and I do not propose to go out on that sea again. I have 
not for thirty minutes discussed the controverted points of 
theology in thirty years. And during the rest of my life I 
do not propose to discuss them for thirty seconds. 

I would rather in a mud-scow try to weather the worst 
cyclone that ever swept up from the Caribbean than risk my 
immortal soul in useless and perilous discussion in which 



some of my brethren in the ministry are indulging. They 
remind me of a company of sailors standing on Ramsgate 

pierhead, from which the life-boats are usually launched, and 
coolly discussing the different style of oar-locks and how deep 


a boat ought to set in the water, while a hurricane is in full 
blast, and there are three steamers crowded with passengers 
going to pieces in the offing. An old tar, the muscles of his 
face working with nervous excitement, cries out: "This is 
no time to discuss such things. Man the life-boat! "Who 
will volunteer? Out with her into the serf! Pull, my lads, 
pull for the wreck! Ha! ha! Now we have them. Lift 
them in and lay them down on the bottom of the boat. 
Jack, you try to bring them to. Put these flannels around 
their hands and feet, and I will pull for the shore. God 
help me! There! Landed! Huzza!" When there are so 
many struggling in the waves of sin and sorrow and wretched" 
ness, let all else go but salvation for time and salvation 

I bethink myself that there are some whose opportunity 
or whose life is a mere wreck, and they have only a small 
piece left. You started in youth with all sails set and every- 
thing promising a grand voyage, but you have sailed in the 
wrong direction or have foundered on a rock. You have 
only a fragment of time left. Then come in on that one 
plank. You admit that you are all broken up, one decade of 
your life gone by, two decades, three decades, four decades, a 
half century, perhaps three-quarters of a century gone. The 
hour-hand and the minute-hand of your clock of life are 
almost parallel, and soon it will be twelve and your day 
ended. Clear discouraged, are you? I admit it is a sad 
thing to give all of our lives that are worth anything to sin 
and the devil, and then at last make God a present of a first- 
rate corpse. But the past you cannot recover. Get on board 
that old ship you never will. Have you only one more year 
left, one more month, one more week, one more day, one 
more hour — come in on that. Perhaps if you get to heaven 
God may let you go out on some great mission to some other 
world, where you can somewhat atone for your lack of service 
in this. 


From many a deathbed I have seen the hands thrown up 
in deploration something like this: "My life has been 
■wasted. I had good mental faculties, and fine social posi- 
tion, and great opportunity, but through worldliness and 
neglect all has gone to waste, save these few remaining hours. 
I now accept of Christ, and shall enter heaven through his 
mercy; but alas ! alas ! that when I might have entered the 
haven of eternal rest with a full cargo, and been greeted by 
the waving hands of a multitude in whose salvation I had 
borne a blessed part, I must confess I now enter the harbor 
of heaven on broken pieces of the ship I" 



Ministers of religion may finally be lost. The Apostle 
indicates that possibility. Gown and surplice and cardinal's 
red hat are no security. Cardinal Woolsey, after having been 
petted by kings arid having entertained foreign ambassadors 
at Hampton Court, died in darkness. One of the most 
eminent ministers of religion that this country has ever known 
plunged into sin and died, his heart, in post mortem exam- 
ination, found to have been, not figuratively, but literally, 
broken. 0, ministers of Christ, because we have diplomas 
of graduation, and hands of ordination on the head, and 
address consecrated assemblages, that is no reason why 
we shall necessarily reach the realm celestial. The clergyman 
must go through the same gate of pardon as the layman. 
The preacher may get his audience into heaven, and he him- 
self miss it. There have been cases of shipwreck where all 
on board escaped excepting the captain. Alas! if, having 
"preached to others, I myself should be a castaway." God 
forbid it. 

I have examined some of the commentaries to see what 
they thought about this word "castaway," and I find that they 
differ in regard to the figure used, while they agree in regard 
to the meaning. So I shall make my own selection, and take 
it in a nautical and seafaring sense, and show you that men 
may become spiritual castaways, and how finally they drift 
into that calamity. You have all stood on the beach of a 
seaboard town. Many of you have crossed the ocean. Some 
of you have managed vessels in great stress of weather. 




There is a sea-captain ! and there is another, and yonder is 
another, and there are a goodly number of you who, though 
once you did not know the difference between a brig and a 
1 V bark, and between a diamond knot and a sprit- sheet-sail knot, 
and although you could not point out the weather-cross jack 
brace, and though you could not man the fore clue-garnets, 
now you are as familiar with a ship as you are with your 
right hand, and if it were necessary you could take a vessel 
clear across to the mouth of the Mersey without the loss of a 
single sail. "Well, there is a dark night in your memory of 
the sea. The vessel became unmanageable. You saw it was 
scudding toward the shore. You heard the cry: "Breakers 
ahead! Land on the lee bow!" The vessel struck the rock, 
and you felt the deck breaking up under your feet, and you 
were a castaway, as when the Hercules drove on the coast of 
Caffraria, as when the Portuguese brig went staving, splitting, 
grinding, crashing on the Goodwins. But whether you 
have followed the sea or not, you all understand the figure 
when I tell you that there are men who by their sins and 
temptations are thrown helpless ! Driven before the gale ! 
Wrecked for two worlds ! Castaway ! castaway ! 

By talking with some sailors, I have found out that there 
are three or four causes for such a calamity to a vessel. I 
have been told that it sometimes comes from creating false 
lights on the beach. This was often so in olden times. It 
is not many years ago indeed that vagabonds used to wander 
up and down the beach, getting vessels ashore in the night, 
throwing up false lights in their presence and deceiving them, 
that they might despoil and ransack them. All kinds of 
infernal arts were used to accomplish this. And one night, 
on the Cornish coast, when the sea was coming in fearfully, 
some villains took a lantern and tied it to a horse, and led 
the horse up and down the beach, the lantern swaying to the 
motion of the horse, and a sea captain in the offing saw it, 
and made up his mind that he was not anywhere near the 


shore, for he said, "There's a vessel — that must be a vessel, 
for it has a movable light," and he had no apprehension until 
he heard the rocks grating on the ship's bottom, and it went 
to pieces, and the villains on shore gathered up the pack- 
ages and the treasures that were washed to the land. And I 
have to tell you that there are a multitude of souls ruined by 
false lights on the beach. In the dark night of man's danger, 
Universalism goes up and down the shore, shaking its lantern, 
and men look off and take that flickering and expiring wick 
as the signal of safety, and the cry is, "Heave the main top- 
sail to the mast! All is well!" when sudden destruction 
cometh upon them, and tbey shall not escape. So there are 
all kinds of lanterns swung on the beach — philosophical 
lanterns, educational lanterns, humanitarian lanterns. Men 
look at them, and are deceived, when there is nothing but 
God's eternal light-house of the Gospel that can keep them 
from becoming castaways. 

Once, on Wolf Crag light-house, they tried to build a 
copper figure of a wolf with its mouth open, so that the 
storms beating into it, the wolf would howl forth the danger 
to mariners that might be coming anywhere near the coast. 
Of course it was a failure. And so all new inventions for 
the saving of man's soul are unavailing. What the human 
race wants is a light bursting forth from the cross standing 
on the great head-lands — the light of pardon, the light 
of comfort, the light of heaven. You might better go 
to-night, and destroy all the great light-house on the danger- 
ous coasts — the Barnegat light-house, the Fastnet Rock light- 
house, the Sherryvore light-house, the Longship's light-house, 
the Hollyhead light-house — than to put out God's great ocean 
lamp— the Gospel. Woe to those who swing false lanterns 
on the beach till men crash in and perish. Castaway! cast- 
away ! 

By talking with sailors I have heard also, that sometimes 
ships come to this calamity by the sudden swoop of a tempest. 


For instance, a vessel is sailing along in the East Indies, and 
there is not a single cloud on the sky; but suddenly the 
breeze freshens, and there are swift feet on the ratlines, and 
the cry is: '"Way, haul away there!" but before they can 
square the booms and tarpaulin the hatchways, the vessel is 
groaning and creaking in the grip of a tornado, and falls over 
into the trough of the sea, and broadside rolls on to the beach 
and keels over, leaving the crew to struggle in the merciless 
surf. Castaway! castaway! And so I have to tell you that 
there are thousands of men destroyed through the sudden 
swoop of temptations. Some great inducement to worldli- 
ness, or to sensuality, or to high temper, or to some form of 
dissipation, comes upon them. If they had time to examine 
their Bible, if they had time to consult with their friends, if 
they had time to deliberate, they could stand it; but the 
temptation came so suddenly — a_euroclydoh on the Mediter- 
ranean, a whirlwind of the Carribean. One awful surge of 
temptation, and they perish. And so we often hear the old 
story, "I hadn't seen my friend in a great many years. We 
were very glad to meet. He said I must drink, and he took 
me by the arm and pressed me along, and filled tbe cup until 
the bubbles ran over the edge, and in an evil moment all my 
good resolutions were swept away, and to the outraging of 
God and my own soul, I fell." Or the story is, "I had hard 
work to support my family. I knew that by one false entry, 
by one deception, by one embezzlement, I might spring out 
free from all my trouble ; but the temptation came upon me 
so fiercely I could not think. I did wrong, and having done 
wrong once, I could not stop." 0, it is the first step that 
costs; the second is easier, and the third ; and on to the last. 
Once having broken loose from the anchor, it is not so easy 
to tie the parted strands. How often it is that men perish 
for tbe reason that the temptation comes from some unex- 
pected quarter. As vessels lie in Margate Roads, safe from 
southwest winds; but the wind changing to the northeast, 


they are driven helpless and go down. 0, that God would 
have mercy upon those upon whom there comes the sudden 
swoop of temptation, that they perish not, becoming for this 
world and the world to come, cast away ! cast away ! 

By talking with sailors I have found out also that some 
vessels come to this calamity through sheer recklessness. 
There are three million men who follow the sea for a living. 
It is a simple fact that the average of human life on the sea 
1 is less than twelve years. This comes from the fact that men 
by familiarity with danger sometimes become reckless — the 
captain, the helmsman, the stoker, the man on the look-out 
become reckless, and in nine out of ten shipwrecks it is found 
out that some one was awfully to blame. So I have to tell 
you that men lose their souls through sheer recklessness. 
There are thousands of my friends in this house to-night who 
do not care where they are in spiritual things. They do not 
know whether they are sailing toward heaven or toward hell, 
and the sea is black with piratical hulks that would grapple 
them with hooks of steel, and blindfold them, and make them 
"walk the plank." They do not know what the next moment 
may bring forth. Drifting in their theology. Drifting in 
their habits. Drifting in regard to all the future. No (rod, 
no Christ, no settled anticipations of eternal felicity; but all 
the time coming nearer and nearer to a dangerous coast. 
Some of them are on fire with evil habit, and- they shall burn 
on the sea, the charred hulk tossed up on the barren beach of 
the lost world. Many of them with great troubles, financial 
troubles, domestic troubles, social troubles; but they never 
pray for comfort. With an aggravation of sin that stirs up 
the ire of God they pray for no pardon. 

They do not steer for the light ship that dances in glad- 
ness at the mouth of Heaven's harbor; reckless as to where 
they come out, drifting further from God, further from early 
religious influences, further from their present happiness, 
further from heaven ; and what is the worst thing about it is 


that they are taking their families along with them, and if 
one perish, perhaps they will all perish, and the way one goes, 
the probability is they will all go. Yet no anxiety. As 
unconscious of danger as the passengers on board the Arctic 
one moment before the Vesta crashed into her. Wrapped 
up in the business of the store, not remembering that soon 
they must quit all their earthly possessions. Absorbed in 
their social position, not knowing that very soon they will 
have attended the last levee, and whirled in the last schottische. 
They do not deliberately choose to be ruined ; neither did 
the French frigate Medusa aim for the Arguin Banks, but 
there it went to pieces. ye reckless souls ! I wish that 
to-night I could wake you up with some great perturbation. 
The perils are so augmented, the chances of escape are so 
few; you will die just as certainly as you sit there, unless 

«, you bestir yourself. I fear, my brother, you are becoming a 
castaway. You are making no effort, you are putting forth 

■ no exertion for escape. You throw out no oar. You take no 
soundings. You watch no compass. You are not calcu- 
lating your bearings while the wind is abaft, and yonder is a 
long line of foam bounding the horizon, and you will be 
pushed on toward it, and thousands have perished there, and 
you are driving in the same direction. Eeady about ! Down 
helm! Hard down! or in the next five minutes or four min- 
utes or three minutes or two minutes or one minute you may 
be a castaway. 0, unforgiven soul, if you could see your 
peril before God to-night, on account of your lifetime sin and 
transgression, there would be fifty men who would rush 
through this aisle crying for mercy, and there would be fifty 
who would rush through that aisle crying for mercy, they would 
be as men are when they rush across the deck of a foundering 
ship, and there would be thousands of arms tossed up from 
the galleries ; and as these Christian men rose up to help 
them, it would be as when a vessel drives on the rocks, and 
on the shore the command is : "Man the lifeboat! Man the 


lifeboat! Pull, my lads, pull! A steamer with two hundred 
on board making the last plunge!" 

Why does your cheek turn pale, and your heart pound 
until, listening, you hear it? It is because, my dear brother, 
you realize that because of your lifetime sin and rejection of 
God's mercy you are in peril, and I really believe there are 
thousands of people this moment, saying within themselves: 
"What shall I do?" Do? Do? Why, my brother, do what 
any ship does when it is in trouble. Lift a distress signal. 
There is a flash and a boom. You listen and you look. A 
vessel is in trouble. The distress gun is sounded, or a rocket 
is sent up, or a blanket is lifted, or a bundle of rags — any- 
thing to catch the eye of the passing craft. So, if you want 
to be taken off the wreck of your sin, you must lift a dis- 
tress signal. Kise. Lift your hand. Cry out for mercy. 
The publican lifted the distress signal when he cried: "God, 
be merciful to me a sinner!" Peter lifted the distress signal 
when he said: "Lord, save me, I perish!" The blind man 
lifted the distress signal when he said: "Lord, that my eyes 
may be opened." The jailer lifted the distress signal when 
he said: "What must I do to be saved?" And help will 
never come to your soul until you lift such a signal as that. 
You must make some demonstration, give some sign, make 
some heaven -piercing outcry for help, lifting the distress 
signal for the Church's prayer, lifting the distress signal for 
Heaven's pardon. Pray! Pray! The voice of the Lord 
to-night sounds in your ears : "In Me is thy help." Too 
proud to raise such a signal, too proud to be saved. 

There was an old sailor thumping about in a small boat 
in a tempest. The larger vessel had gone down. He felt he 
must die. The surf was breaking over the boat, and he said : 
"I took off my life-belt that it might soon be over, and I 
thought somewhat indistinctly about my friends on shore, 
and then I bid them good-bye like, and I was about sinking 
back and giving it up, when I saw a bright star. The clouds 


were breaking away, and there that blessed star shone down 
on me, and it seemed to take right hold of me; and somehow, 
I cannot tell how it was, but somehow, while I was trying 
to watch that star, it seemed to help me and seemed to lift 
me." 0, drowning soul, see you not the glimmer between 
the rifts of the storm-cloud? Would to God that that light 
might lay hold of you to-night. 

0, ye castaways, God is doing everything to save you. 
Did you ever hear of Lionel Luken? He was the inventor 
of the insubmergible life- boat. All honor is due his memory 
by seafaring men, as well as by landsmen. How many lives 
he saved by his invention. In after days that invention was 
improved, and one day there was a perfect lifeboat, the 
Northumberland, ready at Ramsgate. The lifeboat being 
ready, to test it the crew came out and leaped on the gun- 
wale, on one side, to see if the boat would upset ; it was 
impossible to upset it. Then, amid the huzzas of excited 
thousands, that boat was launched, and it has gone and come, 
picking up a great many of the shipwrecked. But I have to 
tell you to-night of a grander launching, and from the dry- 
docks of heaven. Word came up that a world was beating 
on the rocks. In the presence of the potentates of heaven 
the lifeboat of the world's redemption was launched. It 
shoved off the golden sands amid angelic hosanna. The 
surges of darkness beat against its bow, but it sailed on, and 
it comes in sight to-riight. It comes for you, it comes for 
me. Soul! soul! get into it. Make one leap for heaven. 
This is your last chance for life. Let that boat go past and 
there remains nothing but fearful looking-for of judgment, 
and fiery indignation which shall devour the adversary. 

In 1833 the Isabella came ashore off Hastings, England. 
The air was filled with sounds — the hoarse sea- trumpet, the 
crash of the axes, and the bellowing of the tornado. A boat 
from the shore came under the stern of the disabled vessel. 
There were women and children on board that vessel. Some 


of the sailors jumped into the small boat and said: "Now 
give us the children." A father who stood on deck took his 
first-born and threw him to the boat. The sailors caught 
him safely, and the next, and the next, to the last. Still the 
sea rocking, the storm howling. "Now, "said the sailors, "now 
the mother;" and she leaped and was saved. The boat went 
to the shore; but before it got to the shore the landsmen 
were so impatient to help the suffering people that they waded 
clear down into the surf, with blankets and garments and 
promises of help and succor. I have to hope to-night that 
a great many of the families here are going to be saved, and 
saved all together. Give us that child for Christ, that other 
child, that other. Give us the mother, give us the father, the 
whole family. They must all come in. All heaven wades in to 
help you. I claim all of you for good. I pick not out one man 
here nor one man there; I claim all for God. There are 
some of you who, thirty years ago, were consecrated to 
Christ by your parents in baptism. Certainly I am not stepping 
over the right bound when I claim you for Jesus. Then there 
are many here who have been seeking God for a good while, 
and am I not right in claiming you for Jesus? Then there 
are some here who have been further away. I saw you come 
in to-night in clusters — two, three, and four men together — 
and you drink, and you swear, and you are bringing up your 
families without any God to take care of them when you are 
dead. And I claim you, my brother; I claim all of you. 
You will have to come to-night to the throne of mercy. 
God's Holy Spirit is striving now with you irresistibly. 
Although there may be a smile on your lip, there is agitation 
and anxiety in your heart. You will not come at my invita- 
tion; you will come at God's command. 

[At this poiut in Mr. Talmage's remarks, one of the windows 
in the rear part of the church was slammed down by some 
thoughtless person. The noise alarmed many in the vast con- 
gregation, and they made a rush for the doors. This had the 
effect of alarming others, and in a moment six thousand people 


were up on their feet. Mr. Talmage cried to them to "sit down." 
The President of the Board of Trustees ascertained the cause of 
the noise and immediately informed Mr. Talmage, who an- 
nounced it, and succeeded in bringing the people to order again. 
That part of the congregation who had wisely kept their seats 
were singing the doxology during the uproar. Nearly all of 
those who had left the building returned when they learned the 
cause of their fright, and Mr. Talmage continued as follows:] 

What! are you so afraid when there is no danger at all? 
Will the slamming shut of a window startle six thousand 
souls? Would God that you were as cautious about eternal 
perils as you are about the perils of time. If that slight 
noise sends you to your feet, what will you do when the 
thunders of the last day roll through earth and sky, and the 
mountains come down in avalanche of rock? You cry out 
for the safety of your body ; why not cry out for the safety 
of your soul? You will have to pray some time; why not 
begin now, while all the ripe and purple clusters of divine 
promise bend over into your cup, rather than postpone your 
prayer until your chance is past, and the night drops, and 
the sea washes you out, and forever and forever and forever 
you become a castaway? 



The Jews had gone headlong into sin, and as a punish- 
ment they had been carried captive to Babylon. They found 
that iniquity did not pay. Cyrus seized Babylon, and felt so 
sorry for these poor captive Jews that, without a dollar of 
compensation, he let them go home. So that literally these 
words were fulfilled : " Ye have sold ourselves for nought ; 
and ye shall be redeemed without money. " There are many 
persons who have, like these Jews, sold out. They do not 
seem to belong either to themselves or to God. The title 
deeds have been passed over to " the world, the flesh and the 
devil;" but the purchaser has never paid up. "They have 
sold themselves for nought." 

When a man passes himself over to the world he expects 
to get some adequate compensation. He has heard the great 
things that the world does for a man, and he believes it. 
He wants two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. That will 
be horses and houses and a summer resort and jolly com- 
panionship. To get it, he parts with his physical health by 
overwork. He parts with his conscience. He parts with 
much domestic enjoyment. He parts with opportunities for 
literary culture. He parts with his soul. And so he makes 
over his entire nature to the world. He does it in four instal- 
ments. He pays down the first instalment, and one-fourth 
of his nature is gone. He pays down the second instalment, 
and one-half of his nature is gone. He pays down the third 
instalment, and three-quarters of his nature is gone; and 
after many years have gone by he pays down the fourth 



instalment, and, lo! his entire nature is gone. Then he 
comes up to the world and says: "Good morning. I have 
delivered to you the goods. I have passed over to you my 
body, my mind, and my soul, and I have come now to collect 
the two hundred and fifty thousand dollars." "Two hundred 
and fifty thousand dollars?" says the world. "What do you 
mean?" "Well," you say, "I come to collect the money you 
owe me, and I expect you now to fulfil your part of the 
contract." "But," says the world, "I have failed. I am 
bankrupt. I cannot possibly pay that debt. I have not for a 
long while expected to pay it." "Well," you then say, "give 
me back the goods. "0, no," says the world, "they are all 
gone. I cannot give them back to you. " And there you stand 
on the confines of eternity, your spiritual character gone, 
staggering under the consideration that "you have sold your- 
self for nought. " 

I tell you the world is a liar; it does not keep its prom- 
ises. It is a cheat, and it fleeces everything it can put its 
hands on. It is a bogus world. It is a six-thousand-year- 
old swindle. Even if it pays the two hundred and fifty 
thousand dollars for which you contracted, it pays them in 
bonds that will not be worth anything in a little while. Just 
as a man may pay down ten thousand dollars in hard cash 
and get for it worthless scrip, so the world passes over to 
you the two hundred and fifty thousand dollars in that shape 
which will not be worth a farthing to you a thousandth part 
of a second after you are dead. " 0," you say, " it will help 
to bury me anyhow." 0, my brother, you need not worry 
about that. The world will bury you soon enough, from 
sanitary considerations. After you have been deceased for 
three or four days you will compel the world to bury you. 
Post mortem emoluments are of no use to you. The treasures 
of this world will not pass current in the future world ; and 
if all the wealth of the Bank of England were put in the 
pocket of your shroud, and you in the midst of the Jordan 


jf death were asked to pay three cents for your ferriage, you 
could not do it. There comes a moment in your existence 
beyond which all earthly values fail ; and many a man has 
wakened up in such a time to find that he has sold out for 
eternity, and has nothing to show for it. I should as soon 
think of going to Chatham street to buy silk pocket handker- 
chiefs with no cotton in them, as to go to this world expecting 
to find any permanent happiness. It has deceived and 
deluded every man that ever put his trust in it. History tells 
us of one who resolved that he would have all his senses 
gratified at one and the same time, and he expended hundreds 
of pounds on each sense. He entered a room, and there 
were the first musicians of the land pleasing his ear, and 
there were fine pictures fascinating his eye, and there were 
costly aromatics regaling the nostril, and there were the 
richest meats and wines and fruits and confections pleasing 
the appetite, and there was a soft couch of sinful indulgence 
on which he reclined ; and the man declared afterward that 
he would give ten times what he had given if he could 
have one week of such enjoyment, even though he lost his 
soul by it. Ah ! that was the rub. He did lose his soul by 
it! Cyrus the conqueror thought for a little while that he, 
was making a fine thing out of this world, and yet before 
he came to his grave he wrote out this pitiful epitaph for 
his monument: "I am Cyrus. I occupied the Persian 
Empire. I was king over Asia. Begrudge me not this! 
monument." But the world in after years ploughed up hisi 

The world clapped its hands and stamped its feet in honor 
of Charles Lamb; but what does he say? "I walk up and 
down, thinking I am happy, but feeling I am not." Call the 
roll, and be quick about it. Samuel Johnson, the learned! 
Happy? "No. I am afraid I shall some day get crazy." 
William Hazlitt, the great essayist! Happy? "No. I have 
been for two hours and a half going up and down Pater- 


noster Bow with a volcano in my breast." Smollet, the 
witty author! Happy? "No. I am sick of praise and 
blame, and I wish to God that I had such circumstances 
around me that I could throw my pen into oblivion." 
Buchanan, the world-renowned writer, exiled from his own 
country, appealing tc Henry VIII. for protection! Happy? 
"No. Over mountains covered with snow, and through val- 
leys flooded with rain, I come a fugitive." Moliere, the 
popular dramatic author! Happy? "No. That wretch of 
an actor just now recited four of my lines without the proper 
accent and gesture. To have the children of my brain so 
hung, drawn and quartered tortures me like a condemned 

I went to see a worldling die. As I went into the hall I 
saw its floor was tesselated, and its wall was a picture gal- 
lery. I found his death-chamber adorned with tapestry 
until it seemed as if the clouds of the setting sun had settled 
in the room. That man had given forty years to the world, — 
his wit, his time, his genius, his talent, his soul. Did the 
world come in to stand by his death-bed, and clearing off 
the phials of bitter medicine, put down any compensation ? 
Oh, no! The world does not like sick and dying people, and 
leaves them in the lurch. It ruined this man and then left 
him. He had a magnificent funeral. All the ministers wore 
scarfs, and there were forty-three carriages in a row; but the 
departed man appreciated not the obsequies. 

I want to persuade my readers that this world is a poor 
investment; that it does not pay ninety per cent of satisfac- 
tion, nor eighty per cent, nor twenty per cent, nor two 
per cent, nor one; that it gives no solace when a dead babe 
lies on your lap ; that it gives no peace when conscience rings 
its alarm ; that it gives no explanation in the day of dire 
trouble ; and at the time of your decease it takes hold of the 
pillow-case and shakes out the feathers, and then jolts down 
in the place thereof sighs and groans and execrations, and 


then makes you put your head on it. 0, ye who have tried 
this world, is it a satisfactory portion? "Would you advise 
your friends to make the investment? No. "Ye have sold 
yourselves for nought." Your conscience went. Your hope 
went. Your Bible went. Your heaven went. Your God 
went. When a sheriff under a writ from the court sells a 
man out, the officer generally leaves a few chairs and a bed, 
and a few cups and knives; but in this awful vendue in 
which you have been engaged, the auctioneer's mallet has 
come down upon body, mind and soul: Going! Gone! 
"Ye have sold yourselves for nought." How could you do 
so ? Did you think that your soul was a mere trinket which 
for a few pennies you could buy in a toy shop? Did you 
think that your soul, if once lost, might be found again if 
you went out with torches and lanterns? Did you think 
that your soul was short-lived, and that, panting, it would 
soon lie down for extinction? Or had you no idea what your 
soul was worth? Did you ever put your forefinger on its 
eternal pulses? Have you never felt the quiver of its peer- 
less wing? Have you not known that, after leaving the 
body, the first step of your soul reaches to the stars, and the 
next step to the farthest outposts of God's universe; and 
that it will not die until in the day when the everlasting 
Jehovah expires? 0, my brother, what possessed you that 
you should part with your soul so cheap, "Ye have sold your- 
selves for nought." 

But I have some good news to tell you. I want to engage 
in a litigation for the recovery of that soul of yours. I want to 
show you that you have been cheated out of it. I want to 
prove, as I will, that you were crazy on that subject, and that 
the world, under such circumstances, had no right to take the 
title deed from you; and, if you will join me, I shall get a de- 
cree from the High Chancery Court of Heaven, reinstating you 
into the possession of your soul. "Oh," you say, "I am afraid 
of lawsuits; they are so expensive, and I cannot joay the cost.'" 


Then have you forgotten the last half of the sentence, "Ye 
shall he redeemed without money" ? Money is good for a great 
many things, hut it cannot do anything in this matter of the 
soul. You cannot huy your way through. Dollars and pounds 
sterling mean nothing at the gate of mercy. If you could 
huy your salvation, heaven would he a great speculation, — an 
extension of Wall street. Bad men would go up and huy out 
the place, and leave us to shift for ourselves. But as money 
is not a lawful tender, what is it? I will answer: Blood' 
"Whose? Are we to go through the slaughter? Oh, no; it 
wants richer hlood than ours. It wants a King's blood. It 
must he poured from royal arteries. It must be a sinless tor- 
rent. But where is the King? I see a great many thrones 
and a great many occupants, yet none seem to he coming down 
to the rescue. But after awhile the clock of night in Bethle- 
hem strikes midnight, and the silver pendulum of a star swings 
across the sky, and I see the King of Heaven rising up, and 
He descends and steps down from star to star and from cloud 
to cloud, lower and lower until He touches the sheep-covered 
hills, and then on to another hill, this last skull-covered, and 
there, at the sharp stroke of persecution, a rill incarnadine 
trickles down, and we who could not he redeemed by money 
are redeemed by precious and imperial blood. 

We have hi this day professed Christians who are so rare- 
fied and etherialized that they do not want a religion of blood. 
What do they want? They seem to want a religion of brain. 
The Bible says: "In the blood is the life." No atonement 
without blood. Ought not the apostle to know? What did he 
say? "Ye are redeemed not with corruptible things, such 
as silver and gold; but by the precious blood of Christ." 
You put your lancet into the ami of our holy religion and 
withdraw the blood, and you leave it a mere corpse, fit only 
for the grave. Why did God command the priests of old to 
strike the knife into the kid and the goat and the pigeon and 
he bullock and the lamb? It was so that when the blood 


rushed out from these animals on the floor of the ancient 
tabernacle, the people should be compelled to think of the 
coming carnage of the Son of God. No blood, no atonement. 
I think that God intended to impress us with the vividness of 
that color. The green of the grass, the blue of the sky, would 
not have startled and aroused us like this deep crimson. It is 
as if God had said: "Now, sinner, wake up and see what the 
Saviour endured for you. This is not water. This is not 
wine. It is blood. It is the blood of my own Son. It is the 
blood of the Immaculate. It is the blood of a God." With- 
out the shedding of blood is no remission. There has been 
many a man who in courts of law has plead "not guilty," who 
nevertheless has been condemned, because there was blood 
found on his hands, or Wood found in his room; and what 
shall we do on the last day if it be found that we have re-cruci- 
fied the Lord of Glory and have never repented of it? You 
must believe in the blood or die. No escape. Unless you let 
the sacrifice of Jesus Christ go in your stead, you yourself 
must suffer. It is either Christ's blood or your blood. 

"Oh," says some one, "the thought of blood sickens me." 
Good. God intended it to sicken you with your sin. Do not 
act as though you had nothing to do with the Calvarean mass- 
acre. You had. Your sins were the implements of torture. 
Those implements were not made out of steel and iron and 
wood so much as out of your sins. Guilty of this homicide 
and this regicide and this deicide, confess your guilt. Ten 
thousand voices of heaven bring in the verdict against you of 
guilty, guilty. Prepare to die or believe in that blood. Stretch 
yourself out for the sacrifice, or accept the Saviour's sacrifice. 
Do not fling away your one chance. It seems to me as if aU 
heaven were trying to bid in your soul. The first bid it makes 
is the tears of Christ at the tomb of Lazarus ; but that is not 
a high enough price. The next bid heaven makes is the 
sweat of Gethsemane; but it is too cheap a price. The next 
bid heaven makes seems to be the whipped back of Pilate's 


hall; but it is not a high enough price. Can it be possible 
that heaven cannot buy you in? Heaven tries once more. It 
says: "Ibid this time for that man's soul the tortures of 
Christ's martyrdom, the blood on His temple, the blood on 
His cheek, the blood on His chin, the blood on His hand, the 
blood on His side, the blood on His knee, the blood on His 
foot; the blood in drops, the blood in rills, the blood in pools 
coagulated beneath the cross ; the blood that wet the tips of 
the soldiers' spears ; the blood that splashed warm in the faces 
of His enemies." Glory to God, that bid wins it! The high- 
est price that was ever paid for anything was paid for your 
soul. Nothing could buy it but blood ! The estranged prop- 
erty is bought back. Take it. "Ye have sold yourselves for 
nought; and ye shall be redeemed without money." Oh, 
atoning blood, cleansing blood, life-giving blood, sanctifying 
blood, glorifying blood of Jesus! "Why not burst into tears 
at the thought that for thee He shed it? For thee the hard- 
hearted, for thee the lost. 

"No," says some one, "I will have nothing to do with it 
except that, like the Jews, I put both my hands into that 
carnage and scoop up both palms full and then throw it on my 
head and cry: ' His blood be on us and on our children!'" 
Can you do such a shocking thing as that? Just rub your 
handkerchief across your brow and look at it. It is the blood 
of the Son of God whom you have despised and driven back 
all these years. Oh, do not do that any longer. Come out 
frankly and boldly and honestly and tell Christ you are sorry. 
You cannot afford to so roughly treat Him upon whom every- 
thing depends. I do not know how you will get away froni 
this subject. You see that you are sold out and that Christ 
wants to buy you back. There are three persons who come 
after you : God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy 
Ghost. They unite then three omnipotences in one movement 
for your salvation. You will not take up arms against the 
Triune God, will you? Is there enough muscle in your arm 


for such a combat? By the highest throne in heaven and by 
the deepest chasm in hell, I beg you to look out. Unless you 
allow Christ to cany away your sins, they will carry you 
away. Unless you allow Christ to lift you up, they will drag 
you down. There is only one hope for you, and that is the 
blood. Christ, the sin-offering, bearing your transgressions. 
Christ, the surety, paying your debts. Christ, the divine 
Cyrus, loosening your Babylonish captivity. Would you like 
to be free? Here is the price of your liberation — not money, 
but blood. I tremble fa'om head to foot, because I fear that 
you will miss your chance for immortal rescue, and die. This 
is the alternative, divinely put: "He that believeth on the 
Son, shall have everlasting life, and he that believeth not on 
the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on 
him." In the last day, if you now reject Christ, every drop 
of that sacrificial blood, instead of pleading for your release, 
as it would have plead if you had repented, will plead against 
you. It will seem to say : "They refused the ransom; they 
chose to die; let them die; they must die. Down with them 
to the weeping and the wailing. Depart, go away from me. 
You would not have me, now I will not have you. Sold out 
for eternity." 

Lord God of the judgment day, avert that calamity ! 
Let us see the quick flash of the scimitar that slays the sin, 
but saves the sinner. Strike ! Omnipotent God, for the soul's 
deliverance ! Beat, eternal sea, with all thy waves, against 
the barren beach of that rocky soul, and make it tremble! Oh! 
oppressiveness of the hour, the minute, the second, on which 
the soul's destiny quivers, and the present is that hour, that 
minute, that second! I wonder what proportion of this world 
will be saved? What proportion will be lost? 

Some years ago there came down a fierce storm on the sea 
coast', and a vessel got in the breakers and was going to 
pieces. They threw up some signal of distress, and the people 
on the shore saw them. They put out in a life-boat. They 


came on, and they saw the poor sailors, almost exhausted, 
clinging to a raft ; and so afraid were the boatmen that the 
men would give up before they got to them, that they gave 
them three rounds of rousing cheers and cried: "Hold on 
there! Hold on! We'll save you!" After awhile the boat 
came up. One man was saved by having the boat-hook put 
in the collar of his coat; and some in one way and some in 
another; but they all got into the boat. "Now," says the 
captain, "for the shore. Pull away now! pull!" The people 
on the land were afraid the life-boat had gone down. They 
said: "How long the boat stays. Why, it must have been 
swamped, and they have all perished together." And there 
were men and women on the pier-heads and on the beach, 
wringing their hands; and while they waited and watched, 
they saw something looming up through the mist, and it 
turned out to be the life-boat. As soon as it came within 
speaking distance the people on the shore cried out: "Did 
you save any of them? Did you save any of them?" And as 
the boat swept through the boiling surf and came to the pier- 
head, the captain waved his hand over the exhausted sailors 
that lay flat on the bottom of the boat and cried: "All 
saved! Thank God! All saved!" So may it be with you. 
The waves of sin ran high, the storm is on you, the danger is 
appalling. shipwrecked soul, I have come for you. I 
cheer you with this Gospel hojie. God grant that we may 
row with you into the harbor of God's mercy. And when 
Christian men gather around to see the result, and the glori- 
fied gather on the pier-heads of heaven to watch and to listen, 
may we be able to report all saved ! Young and old, good 
and bad! All saved! Saved from sin and death and hell. 
Saved for time. Saved for eternity.